For some time, the Bank has taken specific action to renegotiate mortgages stipulated with customers in recent years, reducing the overall amount of each repayment. In 2016, 66,000 renegotiations, for a total residual debt of approximately 6.2 billion euro, took place.

To help customers who are struggling to meet their mortgage payments, a solution has been available since 2014 “Rata Leggera”, allowing customers who have contracted mortgage loans, for which repayment started at least twelve months earlier, to suspend their principal payments for a maximum of 12 months, to cover unexpected expenses and overcome temporary hardship or as a means of freeing up funds in the household budget to be used in consumer goods and lifestyle improvement investments. There were 2,200 suspensions in 2016 for a total residual debt of nearly 689 million euro.

Mortgage products were revised and expanded, with new solutions to further increase flexibility for customers.

Dedicated to the under 35, including people with non-typical employment or contracts with increasing forms of protection, and with the aim of helping first-time home purchases, “Mutuo Giovani” is a new, flexible, modular mortgage, financing up to 100% the value of property and lasting up to 40 years, which allows customers to initially pay, for a period they choose and up to 10 years, a lower instalment, comprising only interest, with the possibility of suspending repayments or extending or shortening their duration.

In total, mortgages amounting to nearly 2.6 billion euro and for around 23,000 people were disbursed in this target group (in 2015, over 1.5 billion of loans were issued, for more than 14,000 people).

For customers who are already property owners and want to buy a new home and are waiting to sell, the new mortgage has a pre-payment period of one year, an initial repayment comprising only interest, so the amount is smaller, and some of the proceeds from the sale of the existing property can be used to pay off the outstanding amount owing.

Lastly, “MutuoUp” is a mortgage for first-time or second home buyers to obtain an additional sum, granted in 24 hours, a short time after the house purchase, and up to 10% of the mortgage, for any additional expenses not planned for or not envisaged, rather than for new projects. 93 loans for almost 10.4 million euro were disbursed in 2016.

As a result of the earthquake that hit the regions of Lazio, Marche, Umbria and Abruzzo, the Bank adopted a number of measures in favour of companies, small businesses, traders and families in the affected areas. In particular, repayments on mortgages, loans and leases were suspended free of charge (principal amount and interest) up to 25 February 2017 for borrowers resident or with their registered and/or trading office in one of the municipalities listed by the Government Cabinet.

Numerous system agreements were made, in keeping with the economic and regulatory context, to help families in difficulty.

The Group participates in the Guarantee Fund for First Homes, established by the 2014 Stability Law to facilitate access to credit by households for the purchase and energy efficiency of their main residence. Thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding between ABI and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the beneficiaries – mostly young couples, single-parent families with minor children, young people under the age of 35 who hold an atypical employment contract and tenants of public housing owned by IACP – can get a guarantee on the principal amount of their loan (up to 50%). The lending Bank undertakes not to request additional guarantees besides the mortgage on the property and to apply, free of charge, the flexible options connected to the mortgage. 1,200 loans for almost 161 million euro were disbursed in 2016.

As part of the Solidarity Fund for first home mortgages, set up at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, 237 new requests for suspension were accepted during the year. Total suspensions, at the end of 2016, included over 3,700 mortgages for a total residual debt value of approximately 314 million euro.

An additional agreement between ABI and main consumer associations to suspend household loans, following provisions in the 2015 Stability Law, has made it possible to suspend up to 12 repayments of the principal amount of loans. Since its activation, at the end of May 2015, 663 applications have been upheld, of which 267 in 2016, for a total residual debt value of 20.5 million euro and deferred debt of nearly 6 million (8.8 and 2.9 million respectively for 2016 alone).

Aware that the property sector is fundamental for Italy's recovery and that the home is a fundamental value for Italians, in 2015 Intesa Sanpaolo set up “Intesa Sanpaolo Casa”, the Group company acting as estate agent in the residential property sector. Since the end of 2016, thirty-two agencies have been operating in Italy with a shop in shop formula, inside Bank branches, with estate agents who are company employees. In 2016, some 1,000 sales orders were placed, 290 contracts were finalised or are being finalised and over 700 buyers are listed in the customer portfolio.

A focus on people coming up against financial difficulties, also because of losing their jobs, led Sanpaolo to promote its “Anticipazione sociale” (Welfare Advance) initiative. Starting in 2005, it grants a credit line with sums gradually released, at particularly beneficial conditions, and which can be used up until the time when social security payments are made into the customer's current account. Through agreements signed with the Authorities and local institutions in Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Veneto, the worker does not bear any charges as these are covered by the project partners. In 2016 approximately 1.9 million euro were disbursed and about 1.1 million were used for over 400 households.

The Intesa Sanpaolo Group has joined the social initiative project promoted by Adiconsum designed to prevent usury. “Prestito Adiconsum”, the loan guaranteed by a fund financed by grants that the Italian State has made available through Law No. 108 of 7 March 1996 and entrusted to Banca Prossima, is for all persons and households who, despite having recovered repayment ability, because of previous negative positions do not have access to legal credit.

The verification and pre-selection of loan applicants is carried out exclusively by professional staff at the Adiconsum National Headquarters. The loan, in place since October 2015, is a medium term loan repaid in monthly instalments, for an amount of 2,000 to 30,000 euro, and a maximum term of 84 months. 30 loans totalling 642 thousand euro were disbursed in the year.

International banks are also targeting workers and their families who are in serious difficulties because of job losses. In these cases, loans with special conditions and ad hoc financial solutions are provided.

Initiatives adopted over the years include Banca Intesa Beograd's Intermezzo cash loan project.

Started in 2003, this loan model gives customers the chance to defer monthly repayments, for up to five times during the entire repayment period, and additional peace of mind with an insurance package (at no extra charge), in the event of redundancy or disability due to an accident. In 2016, loans for over 108 thousand were granted (over 38 thousand to new customers) for a total of nearly 98 million euro.

As part of a specific course of action aimed at offering customers simple and concrete solutions, Intesa Sanpaolo offers a wide range of products.

Since mid-November 2015, the new “ProteggiMutuo” policy with insurance cover by Intesa Sanpaolo Assicura and life insurance from Intesa Sanpaolo Vita has been available. This can be combined with real estate mortgage loans to individuals granted by Group Banks and through a modular structure, these protect borrowers from serious events that may hinder their ability to repay the loan, through three guarantees: Life insurance, total permanent disability and job loss.

A range of insurance products, with similar purposes and at competitive market rates, is also included in products offered by international banks – Intesa Sanpaolo Bank in Slovenia (formerly Banka Koper), VÚB Banka, Privredna Banka Zagreb and CIB Bank – to protect customers that take out loans and mortgages, in the event of their death, unemployment or permanent disability. In 2016, over 68,000 policies were stipulated.

“Mi Curo dei Miei” of Intesa Sanpaolo Vita is dedicated to the protection of the family, in the event of predecease.

“Tu Dopo di noi” is an insurance product designed to protect a disabled beneficiary on the death of the insured. In 2016, 243 new policies were entered in (over 1,100 policies already existing and referring to a similar product).

“Base Sicura Tutelati” has the same purpose and is a product entirely for minors and/or incapacitated persons that have capital at their disposal and require prior authorisation from a supervising judge.

In 2016, Intesa Sanpaolo adopted an insurance measure to help people affected by the earthquake which hit the areas of Rieti, Ascoli Piceno, Perugia, Macerata and Fermo: “Vicino a te”. Not only customers at a Group level but also people most affected by this dramatic effect – i.e. minors who have lost both parents – are given assistance, with up to 300,000 euro being donated to each minor involved, up until they reach eighteen years of age.

With a growing demand for supplementary healthcare, Intesa Sanpaolo has launched its innovative Offerta Salute healthcare package, which at the end of 2016 included four policies to protect household economic stability: “Prevention and Health”; “Accidents”; “Surgery”; “Serious illnesses”.