“Small banks in the area play an irreplaceable role in communities with a real social function: they are the primary source of financing for small and medium-sized enterprises but at the same time proving to be up to international challenges and citizens’ needs . All this “despite the period of wars, energy crises, drought problems and food crises and today also the government crisis, of which we are surprised, the Cooperative Credit Banks perform a” support “function for the country system”. These are the words of Augusto Dell’Erba, president of Federcasse today in Rome at the annual meeting of the national association of Cooperative Credit Banks, Rural Banks and Casse Raiffeisen at the center of which is the theme “The land that will come. The mutual banks, energy for communities “.
Dell’Erba underlines that the cooperative credit banks alone are fighting the “desertification” of the bank branches by the banking sector: «In the last decade, the bank branches in Italy have decreased by almost 12 thousand units (-36%). With the pandemic the phenomenon has accelerated with repercussions of various kinds. In the three-year period 2018-2021, the number of municipalities without banking services increased by 500 units (from 2,586 to 3,086). A desertification that has involved above all small and very small municipalities, characterized by particular fragility ». For the cooperative credit banks, he adds, «the decrease in branches was contained and strictly instrumental to the process of concentration underway within the category. The number of municipalities in which our banks operate as the only banking presence has progressively grown in recent years ”and they are 695 at the end of last March. «The physical presence on the territory – which is not only a supply terminal, but also a sensor of the needs of the communities – has facilitated support activities for families and businesses. Since the onset of the pandemic, total gross loans disbursed by the mutual banks have grown at a rate three times the average of the banking industry (9% compared to 3%, exceeding € 140 billion in March). Almost 40% of these loans, equal to approximately 55 billion, were disbursed by the mutual banks to consumer households and have grown at a double rate compared to other banks. Over 79 billion euros, 57% of total loans, were disbursed to the production sector ».
In fact, the president then explained that “the commitment to supporting the territories has been amply” reciprocated “by the confidence of businesses and households: the customer deposits of the BCC-CR exceeded 193 billion euros in March 2022 and shows an increase in 18% in the last two years (+ 9% the national market) “.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic – explained the president – the total gross loans disbursed by the BCC-CR have grown at a rate three times the average of the banking industry (9% compared to 3%, exceeding 140 billion euros in March) . Almost 40% of these loans, equal to about 55 billion euros, were disbursed by the BCC-CR to consumer households and have grown at a double rate compared to other banks (+ 12% for the BCCCRs, + 6% for banking industry). Over 79 billion euros, 57% of total loans, were disbursed to the production sector. In the entire two-year period of the pandemic, the business financing activity by the BCC-CR recorded a rate of growth (equal to 7%) that was constantly higher than the market (3%) which continued even in the most recent months ».
Dell’Erba, then, recalling the various recent interventions in the European and Italian Parliament and hoping that we can continue in this direction, underlined steps forward in the recognition of the proportionality in the implementation in Europe of the Basel 3 rules with the confirmation that “the proportionality it is objective and where there are margins of discretion it has been necessary and able to intervene ».
Dell’Erba, then underlined how “on the energy front, the Cooperative Credit is already giving and will be able to make a significant contribution in terms of decarbonisation, community leadership, enhancement of the mutualistic logic, contribution to energy sovereignty, cost savings” and referring , then, to the building bonuses he pointed out that «the uncertainty on the issue risks creating conspicuous problems for businesses and families. The difficulties linked to the instability of the regulatory framework and the continuous redesign of the institute’s borders, over time, may have created tensions in relations with customers, have made credit management complex and also imposed interventions on information systems on intermediaries “.