Extension of the guarantee coverage until 30 June 2022, up to 80% of the loan
Prepared by Cristian Sgaramella, Maria Progida and Alessandra Ghisio
On 28 October 2021, the Italian Council of Ministers has approved the draft of the law regarding the provisional budget for financial year 2022 and the budget for years 2022-2024.
In the financial framework, it has been provided an extension until June 30, 2022 of the measures provided by Decree-Law no. 23/2020 (“DL Liquidità“) pertaining to the loans guaranteed by “Fondo di Garanzia” for small and medium-sized enterprises (“SME Guarantee Fund“).
In this regard, it should be noted that “DL Liquidità”, converted into Law no. 40 dated June 5, 2020 amended by Decree Law no. 73/2021 (“DL Sostegni bis“), provided about the increase of SME Guarantee Fund to allow the immediate cash-flow needs to businesses and professionals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, according to such regulations, the procedures for accessing the SME Guarantee Fund were simplified, the guarantee coverage was increased as well as the number of beneficiaries, and the extraordinary measures, as provided for in Article 16 of “DL Sostegni bis”, were extended until 31 December 2021.
The Italian Council of Ministers has, therefore, given green light to the text of the new budget law which, in addition to extending of the duration of the measures regarding the SME Guarantee Fund, has provided, in brief, for the following provisions:
- starting from 1st January 2022, the coverage of the SME Guarantee Fund will increase, from 90% to 80% calculated on the loan amount;
- also, as from 1st January 2022, guarantees will no longer be granted free of charge, but upon payment of a fee to the SME Guarantee Fund;
- as from 1st July 2022 and until 31 December 2022, the maximum guaranteed amount for an individual company will be EUR 5 million;
- as from 1st July 2022, the rules laid down by “DL Liquidità” in application of European Commission Communication C(2020) 1863 of 19 March 2020 on a “Temporary framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID emergency – 19” shall no longer apply to requests for admission to the SME Guarantee Fund;
- for the year 2022, the maximum limit of commitments that the SME Guarantee Fund may undertake is set at EUR 210,000 million, of which EUR 160,000 million relates to the stock of guarantees outstanding at 31 December 2021 and EUR 50,000 million relates to the maximum limit of commitments that may be undertaken for guarantees to be granted during the financial year 2022;
- the budget of the SME Guarantee Fund is increased by €520 million for 2024, €1.7 billion for 2025, €650 million for 2026 and €130 million for 2027;
- a special section dedicated to the tourism sector is established within the SME Guarantee Fund.
The new budget law introduced further measures for access to credit and to support the cash-flow of companies, including the following provisions:
- extension until 30 June 2022 of the so-called SACE Guarantee: SACE S.p.A. will grant guarantees in any form until 30 June 2022 in favor of banks, national and international financial institutions and other entities authorized to grant credit in Italy, financing companies based in Italy and affected by the COVID – 19 pandemic, in order to ensure the necessary liquidity;
- extension until 31 December 2022 of the so-called “Fondo Gasparrini”, which introduced the possibility of requesting the suspension for nine months of the instalments on the ‘first home’ mortgage for employees who have had their working hours suspended or reduced for at least thirty days, or for self-employed workers who certify that they have suffered losses equal to 33% of their quarterly revenues.
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