Intesa Sanpaolo’s international network: breaking the boundaries of business
Finance can be a hurdle to cross-border business. That’s why a new programme has been launched to boost business growth through synergies between the International Subsidiary Banks and Banca dei Territori divisions.
Intesa Sanpaolo has launched a programme between the SME and retail banking sections of its International Subsidiary Banks Division (ISBD) and Banca dei Territori to boost business. The programme aims to grow cross-border business opportunities for mid-sized business operating in the 12 countries served by the group’s retail banks in Eastern Europe and North Africa.
Pilot countries from the Intesa Sanpaolo international network are Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, where Intesa Sanpaolo currently offers award-winning and industry-leading commercial banking services. The value of an international network Through the International Subsidiary Banks Division, Intesa Sanpaolo's SME clients have access to a market of 210 million people and a GDP of almost €1.7 trillion.
At the same time, ISBD network members have access to Italian business and can make export links to the country more easily. Even so, opportunities offered by Italy for the Romanian, Hungarian and Slovak markets – and for Italian business operating in these markets – are plentiful and currently under-utilised. New banking support can help change this. Prospects for investment include modernising infrastructure and transport networks, growing already high-performing industrial bases – particularly in car manufacturing – and making use of plentiful natural and agricultural resources.
Giuseppe Ferraro, Head of the ISBD Corporate & SME Department, also identifes the phenomena of “reshoring” and “near-shoring”, where countries are bringing back production of domestically consumed goods and reducing imports, as a positive factor for the three test territories. “The project enhances an activity that has already started in practice, as shown by a number of important transactions concluded recently,” adds Ferraro.
“The countries included in the division are particularly important from the point of view of Italy's international positioning and the internationalisation of Italian companies, which often have very signifcant shares of business and a continuous and consolidated presence in these markets,” says Massimo Antonello Piancastelli, Head of ISBD New Business and Interdivisional Initiatives Development.
A business boost The new programme is structured to provide an increase in fnancing lines, as well as in products and services dedicated to internationalisation and business co-operation between Italy and the ISBD network. One example is the Confrming service. This online tool facilitates cash fow by allowing suppliers to collect invoices issued to external buyers operating in the areas covered by the programme within 72 hours.
Currently, more than 2,000 Italian industrial groups operate in these territories. The relationships are mutually benefcial. To give one example, Italy is Hungary’s fourth-largest trading partner and the ninthlargest investor in Hungary. Bilateral trade broke all previous records in 2021 despite the pandemic, reaching a turnover of €12 billion.
The programme will give business customers of Intesa Sanpaolo the ability to bring their banking services under one umbrella – at home and in the relevant export countries. But it also aims to bring new relationships to the bank, leveraging Intesa Sanpaolo’s international outlook, local knowledge and award-winning banking services to provide a smooth path for cross-border business.
With an eye on the agricultural sectors in ISBD territories, the programme also offers products specifcally designed for farmrelated businesses. A roadmap for the future Following a series of roadshows in early May 2023, the new programme will be rolled out across the three test territories and then into the remaining nine countries in the ISBD network.
“This network is unique in the Italian banking system and provides businesses with an opportunity for growth, thanks to effective tools and constant support both in Italy and in the target countries,” says Anna Roscio, Head of Corporate Sales & Marketing at the Banca dei Territori Division. “The project reinforces the existing synergy, beginning a phase in which the business model integration of the two divisions will be systematically extended to countries where ISBD retail banks operate,” says Giuseppe Ferraro. “The synergies will beneft both Italian companies active in these countries and foreign companies operating in Italy.”