Guarantee Fund for SMEs (Law 662/96)

Guarantee Fund for SMEs (Law 662/96)

Supporting the Guarantee Fund for SMEs through contributions from public and private funds

CDP is committed to strengthening the capital of the Guarantee Fund for SMEs through counter-guarantee initiatives, using public funds from the EU or resources contributed by public or private entities, with the aim of supporting access to public guarantees for Italian companies and professionals

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Who’s it for?

  • SMEs, as defined by the European Commission, included in Recommendation 2003/361 / EC
  • Professionals belonging to any sector, with the exception of those excluded on the basis of the operational rules of the Fund, in relation to any type of transaction, both short and medium-long term, for liquidity and for investments.

How does it work?

The guarantee of the Fund is granted, for up to a maximum of 80% of the loan.

The Fund guarantees each company or professional a maximum amount of 2.5 million euros, which can be used through one or more transactions, up to the set ceiling, without a limit to the number of transactions that can be made. The guarantee rate and the maximum guaranteed amount have been temporarily increased by Law Decree 8 April 2020, n. 23 (“Liquidity Decree”) to support access to credit by enterprises in the Covid-19 emergency phase.

CDP has activated two main counter-guarantee initiatives for this instrument in order to increase the volume of guarantees issued by the Fund. This is based on using funds made available by the European Commission and managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF).

In 2017, CDP carried out an initial activity in the fund’s favour, using the resources from the European COSME  programme, guaranteeing 80% of a portfolio of new operations originating from the latter, for a total value of 3,110 million euros.

A second counter-guarantee action, which uses the resources from the  Creative European programme, was implemented in 2018 and concerns the coverage, again at 80%, of a portfolio of new operations originating from the Fund, for a maximum original value of 200 million euros, increased in 2020 to 350 million euros, reaching a total of more than 2,200 companies operating in the creative-cultural sectors.

Following the success of the first operation supported by the COSME programme - thanks to which CDP guaranteed a portfolio of 2,488 million euros in less than 20 months, providing support to about 47,000 SMEs which gained access to financing of about 4.2 billion euros - in June 2019, CDP launched a new COSME operation that allowed CDP to issue new 80% cover for the Fund on a portfolio of new guarantee operations worth up to 3,750 million euros. In 2020, thanks to the use of the so-called "Covid-19" window activated by the European Commission for the COSME programme, CDP increased the value of the Fund's guaranteed portfolio from 3,750 million euros to about 4,532 million euros, supporting access to credit for about 64,000 SMEs.

CDP is also authorised to set up "special sections" in the Fund, using public or private resources, with the aim of maintaining the guarantee percentage at the maximum level set by the law.

How to apply

To apply to the Guarantee Fund for SMEs, the company or professional can contact:

  • a bank to apply for funding, at the same time requesting that the fund’s direct guarantee. The bank will then be in charge of the application;
  • to an accredited Confidi that guarantees the financing activity in the first instance and requests the fund’s counter-guarantee.

Would you like more information?

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