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    Hope for Italian small businesses

    The European Investment Bank and Italy’s national promotional bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), provided €1.5 billion at favourable interest rates and with long maturities to small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps in all productive sectors.

    First signature
    EUR 1,500,000,000
    Credit lines
    See more


    € 1,500,000,000
    Italy : € 1,500,000,000
    Credit lines : € 1,500,000,000
    Signature date(s)
    4/06/2020 : € 1,500,000,000

    Summary sheet

    Release date
    15 June 2020
    Signed | 04/06/2020
    Project name
    Promoter - financial intermediary
    Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)
    Total cost (Approximate amount)
    EUR 1500 million
    not applicable

    The project will support financing of eligible investments promoted by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and midcaps in Italy, with particular focus on those affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

    The aim is to enhance access to finance for small/medium projects carried out by SMEs and midcaps, also in the form of networks.

    Environmental aspects

    Final beneficiaries will be requested to comply with applicable national and EU legislation, as appropriate.

    Final beneficiaries will be requested to comply with applicable national and EU legislation, as appropriate.



    Link to source


    Before financing approval by the Board of Directors, and before loan signature, projects are under appraisal and negotiation. The information and data provided on this page are therefore indicative.
    They are provided for transparency purposes only and cannot be considered to represent official EIB policy (see also the Explanatory notes).

    News & Stories

    Inside the project

    How and Why

    A rapid response


    • Italy was the hardest hit country in the European Union in terms of COVID-19 death toll
    • To provide a rapid response to give small businesses liquidity to tackle the crisis


    • Casse Depositi e Prestiti provides liquidity lines to its bank partners for on-lending to small and medium sized corporates
    • The loans made under this programme provide companies with working capital, when their regular business has dried up in pandemic lockdowns


    Helping businesses hit by the COVID-19 crisis

    • 6 000 Italian small businesses receive an average €250 000 each
    • So many businesses could be reached because the EIB funds are loaned out through the smallest banks.

    Play video




    EU bank support in pandemic

    €250,000 disbursed to every small business
    A total €1.5 billion financing for Italian small businesses is the first European Investment Bank immediate COVID-19 response and the largest EU bank support to any single country during the pandemic crisis.

    For three decades, Giuliano Annigliato’s advertising agencies A&C Network and Uno Outdoor have grown in size and ambition, backing the restoration of monuments in Naples and elsewhere with an innovative idea that saves money for the municipality. But when the COVID-19 virus first ravaged Italy, it hit Annigliato’s business too—most of his clients were in the clothing sector, one of the worst-hit by the pandemic.


    Hope arrived in the form of a €2.3 million loan from Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the oldest bank in the world. The loan was made possible by a partnership between the European Investment Bank and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the national promotional bank. A total €1.5 billion financing for Italian small businesses is the first European Investment Bank immediate COVID-19 response and the largest EU bank support to any single country during the pandemic crisis.

    Behind Naples ads, the preservation of its history

    In Naples obelisks, fountains and monuments attract the attention of companies and businesses, including Burger Italy, Lui-Jo, Enrico Coveri underwear. These companies have a temporary "advertising window" in Naples, while the monuments will be restored at no cost to the city.

    At the height of Italy’s early pandemic crisis, Annigliato had hardly any business. Even the money he had set aside for emergencies would not have been enough to pay his 36 employees for long.  Annigliato had to make use of a temporary furlough scheme for some of them.

    At the end of April, when the weight of the world seemed to be crashing on Annigliato, he got much-needed liquidity from the European Investment Bank through CDP and Monte dei Paschi di Siena.  With this buffer, he was able to happily accept a big online order from Rossignol, the iconic French brand. “It was a godsend, a beautiful thing,” he says, his voice warm and enthusiastic, but also displaying the relief of a man who had been on the edge.

    We are standing shoulder to shoulder with Italian small businesses and microbusinesses.
    Claudia Barone

    European Investment Bank loan officer

    Backing the business platform

    The European Investment Bank backs the CDP “Business Platform” instrument on favourable terms. CDP lends the funds on to financial intermediaries like Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which in turn back entrepreneurs like Annigliato.

    By partnering with CDP, EIB financing can reach businesses that would not usually have access to its favourable terms, because they’re too small or too risky. As CDP does not take any profit, Annigliato and other small entrepreneurs enjoy the full benefit of the EIB’s favourable interest rates.

    We make loans to financial institutions which subsequently "on-lend" to final beneficiaries. Our support improves access to finance and financing conditions for SMEs and mid-caps.

    Here are some benefits of our intermediated loans for small businesses:

    • Attractive pricing: our pricing reflect the Bank’s advantageous funding conditions on the market
    • Long tenors: our financing terms consider the economic life of each projects
    • Signalling effect: the Bank’s financing in often seen as a quality stamp, helping the project attract additional investors

    Are you an SME or mid-cap looking for finance?

    We benefit from our partners’ expertise, local knowledge and proximity to the projects themselves.

    Discover our financial intermediaries in your country.

    The loan was made possible by a partnership between the European Investment Bank and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the national promotional bank.

    General enquiries and comments

    The EIB is committed to open communication and encourages constructive stakeholder input regarding its activities.
    Enquiries and comments concerning the EIB’s involvement in a project or the financing facilities, activities, organisation and objectives of the EIB, can be sent to the EIB Infodesk.
    Alternatively, the EIB can be contacted through its external offices.
    Queries regarding details of a specific project, in particular when it is under appraisal by the EIB, should preferably be addressed directly to project promoters.

    Media enquiries

    Media-related enquiries can be addressed to the EIB Press Office. Please also visit our Media information section.

    Complaints mechanism

    Any complaint regarding alleged maladministration can be lodged via the EIB Complaints Mechanism. The European Ombudsman acts as an independent external accountability mechanism of the EIB.

    Zero tolerance against fraud and corruption

    The EIB has a zero tolerance policy on fraud or corruption. To report allegations of fraud and corruption relating to EIB-financed projects, please contact the Fraud and Investigation division. All complaints will be treated as strictly confidential and handled in line with the EIB investigation procedures and the Anti-Fraud Policy.

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