Interbank funding

During 2011 turmoil on the interbank market became entrenched, also as a result of the strong risk aversion on the part of all banks, battered by the hostile economic situation and suddenly more concerned with credit risks, even vis-à-vis qualified banking counterparts.

The market remained relatively liquid for high-quality collateral (typically, sovereign bonds), while capital for credit institutions’ unsecured funding needs was extremely scarce. Smaller banks could not access the unsecured interbank market except for maturities of less than a week, essentially useless for any financial planning.

Banca IFIS managed to access secured lines for the entire year, relying on a large number of securities, for the most part government bonds, accepted as collateral by other international banks, or, in the last resort, on the Eurosystem, thanks to the loans always granted by the ECB. Funding never showed signs of stress and securities trading generated positive results in terms of both liquidity and profitability, helping to ease retail funding costs, historically greater on the online market where the volatility of deposits not sufficiently remunerative for customers may represent a risk.

Securities trading reached a significant size, also as an effect of the operations carried out in the final part of the year and continued into the first few days of 2012. Purchasing focused on Italian government bonds, at fixed rate for very short-term bonds and at floating rate for medium-term ones. Currently the portfolio's average return is high, considering the period in which bonds were purchased. At the end of the year, the portfolio's total book value was 1,857 million Euro, about 86% of which composed of Italian government bonds and the rest of bank bonds. 74.5% of the portfolio would mature within 2012 and, overall, 83% within 2013.

At 29 February 2012, as more government bonds were purchased since the beginning of the year, the portfolio's total book value was 4,435 million Euro. 57% of the portfolio would mature within 2012 and, overall, 77% within 2013

rendimax

rendimax is Banca IFIS’s high-return online savings account aimed at private investors, companies and insolvency proceedings.

It was created in July 2008 and at the end of 2011 rendimax had around 41000 customers with funding of over 1.5 billion Euro, of which over 60% were fixed-term. The growth trend for the savings account was already rising compared to the previous year and it accelerated further thanks to the introduction on 1 December 2011 of the innovative “rendimax like” formula: at the end of February the total number of deposit accounts was 1,831.2 million Euro, of which rendimax Like accounted for 30.9%. An extremely positive response, rewarding the Bank’s focus on customers which is always innovative, transparent and unparalleled in terms of service quality.

The possibilities offered to customers are numerous: call deposits, fixed-term deposits with interest paid in advance (First option) or in quarterly arrears (Top option), or the latest creation, rendimax Like, a call deposit with cash sums available 33 days after the request. Other characteristics are: exclusively online account opening and management, security (also due to the guarantee of the Interbank Deposit Protection Fund) and zero costs. In addition to the total exemption from setting-up and management fees, the tax stamp is paid by the Bank and therefore the customer faces no such cost. The rendimax savings account also offers several maturity options for fixed-term deposits, from one to 24 months. rendimax savers can use the exclusive rendimax debit card (which runs on the Bancomat/Pagobancomat and Cirrus/Maestro circuits).

During 2011 rendimax took its first steps in the world of social networks through a series of initiatives: in July it opened a Facebook page, where savers talk every day about the rendimax world. After just a few weeks, thanks to the constantly innovative nature of rendimax, it moved on to Twitter and Linkedin. At the end of 2011 Salvarisparmio was also started: it is a blog entirely dedicated to daily analysis of issues concerning the various forms of savings, which has gained a strong following very quickly.