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Intesa seeks partners for NPLs, asset management

Carve out of NPL servicing; minority owner sought for Eurizon.

Carlo Messina-600

Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo

Chief executive Carlo Messina presented Intesa Sanpaolo’s 2018 to 2021 business plan in February, positioning the bank as a fee-driven, efficient and low-risk wealth management company and a leading bank for corporate social responsibility.

What the market most wanted to hear about, however, was the plan for non-performing loans (NPLs).

The new plan is for the bank to cut its volume of net NPLs from €22.5 billion to €12.1 billion by 2021. This appears to be a change in approach by the bank, which had previously been focused on maximizing recoveries by dealing with NPL disposals in-house.

It is also a clear indication of the impact of the European Central Bank’s tougher line on NPLs that was introduced last year.

“This is a decision to be ready to accelerate the timing of recovery,” says Messina. “It is a clear answer to the pressure of the regulator. If you want to lead a game, it is better to move before they ask rather than after they ask.”

Intesa’s bad loan ratio stood at 13% at the end of September 2017.

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