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What a bargain those NPLs

19 January, Milano Finanza

Intesa Sanpaolo and Intrum started working on the collection of bad loans. The task is rather complex, considering a market such as the Italian one where slow justice is often an obstacle for creditors. Nevertheless, thanks to a strong team and solid investments, Intrum is positive about the future. “The new Italian management team is the right mix of expertise from Intrum, Intesa Sanpaolo and from outside”, explains Marc Knothe, Intrum Italy Ceo, to Milano Finanza. “Antonella Pagano, Business Development & Operational Services Director, comes from Intrum, as well as Antonio Rabossi, Legal & Compliance Director. Alberto Marone, Investment Director, and Alessandro degli Esposti, Client Management Director. From Intesa Sanpaolo, we have Stefano Marchetti, Operations Director, Salvatore Ruopolo, Head of Real Estate and Leasing, and Massimo Martinoia, HR Director. Finally, Enrico Baretta, Head of Internal Audit and Pierpaolo Sogli, Chief Financial Officer, come from other companies”.

Have you already started working on the credits of Intesa?

Of course. The joint venture headed by Giovanni Gilli has been operational since December. This final step completes a process started in 1986 that went through the merger between Intrum and Lindorff, the acquisition of Caf, Gextra and Crosfactor, and the expansion of our team, that has gone from 400 to 950 people thanks to the agreement with Intesa.

Are you also looking at other portfolios?

Yes. We’re one of the first three servicers in Italy, but we want to expand our market share even further through the direct purchase of portfolios as well as through management contracts. We’re interested in the platforms that several banks have recently put in the market. We’re currently working with other banks, and we want to continue doing that also in the future.

In these last few months, international investors have been worried by the country risk represented by Italy. What is your approach?

When we announced the agreement with Intesa, we were aware of the political changes currently going on. As investors, however, we have a long-term perspective, and we’re not paying much attention to short-term volatility.

What data are you receiving from the collection curves?

It depends on the portfolio, but, thanks to the recent reforms and the improvement of the legal procedures, times have shortened, especially in certain regions. Generally speaking, the market is aligned with our financial forecasts.

The ECB requires banks to write off new credits in a short time, bad loans included in some cases. With such deadlines, how a full collection would be possible?

Based on our experience, unsecured credits have shorter collection times. Secured loans have some elements that influence their collection and times are generally longer, although we’ve recently seen an improvement of court proceedings.

You manage a significant share of clients of a big bank. What is your collection approach?

As a group, we’re present in many countries, and we follow a precise ethical code. For the banks we work for, reputation is fundamental, and our objective is always to find a friendly compromise with the debtor.

Which developments do you expect from the Italian servicing market?

Technology is definitely important, as the servicing activity requires managing an increasing amount of data. Besides, international investors entered the Italian market with a short-term perspective. For this reason, they might soon put for sale their management companies. We have a long-term view, and we’re always ready for new acquisitions. I expect a consolidation.

Source: Milano Finanza

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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