A comparative approach to mutual guarantee institutions in Italy and the United Kingdom
1. The guarantees schemes for SMEs in Europe. – 2. Identification of Confidi and legal framework. – 2.1. The history of Confidi(s). – 2.2. The reform of 2010 and the actual legal framework. – 3. The supervised Confidi(s) registered in the list in accordance to the article 106 of the Italian Consolidated Banking Law. – 4. The smaller confidi(s). – 5. Confidi Banks. – 6. The British model of Mutual Guarantees Institutions. – 6.1. The Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme (SFLG). – 6.2. Mutual Guarantee Societies (MGS). – 6.3. British Business Bank. – 7. Conclusions.
In the last years there have been numerousness transformations which had modified radically the business of Confidi(s), the Italian mutual guarantee institutions.
Starting from Confidi Law, in 2003, (Law Decree no. 269/2003, converted in Law no. 326/2003), Confidi(s) had been classified in two main categories. Then with the Legislative Decree no. 141/2010, Confidi(s) were classified in “bigger or supervised” which corresponded on “Confidi(s) 107” or “smaller or not-supervised” (the new one art. 112-bis ICBL).
The Legislative Decree considered just one register in which all the subjects who wanted to exercise the business of granting funding had to register on it. Instead, the smaller Confidi(s) had to register in a specific list which is subjected to the supervision of an Organism which is different from Bank of Italy, as in the first case.
Not only in Italy, but also in the United Kingdom the Guarantee System has developed, in particular with the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme (SFLG), and then with National Association of Mutual Guarantee Societies (NAMGS) after the development of Mutual Guarantees Societies (MGS).
Even if the English process of granting funding has been developed later, in United Kingdom it has been founded British Business Bank with the role of providing credit to small entrepreneurs.
Given the importance of SMEs in the European economy and their difficulties in accessing loan finance, guarantee organizations have been set up in nearly all EU Member States as well as third States. To reinforce their positions in the market and share with them their best practices, several mutual guarantee institutions founded the European Association of Guarantee Institutions (AECM).