Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo is considering selling its debt collection business and a bad loan portfolio to Sweden’s Intrum Justitia the two companies have said in separate statements.
The move would mark a change of strategy for the Italian lender which set up the bad loan unit, called Capital Light Bank, back in 2014 and has been investing in it to boost recoveries and avoid costly bad loan sales. Intrum had been targeting an Italian bank’s bad loan unit as it looks to become one of the country’s top three servicers. Intesa, one of Italy’s strongest banks, held 54 billion euros in gross impaired debts at the end of September, or 13.7 percent of its overall loans.
EO Carlo Messina has said the bank, which will present a new business plan in the coming weeks, would raise its bad loan reduction targets. Under the previous plan, Intesa aimed to cut the share of soured debts to 10.5 percent of total loans by 2019. That would be more than twice the European average with which the European Central Bank wants to bring Italian lenders in line.