The association of Italian banks takes the field to mitigate the surge in mortgages following the ECB's bullish monetary policy. After a confrontation with the Ministry of the Economy - which had asked for the meeting on 5 July to lengthen the duration of variable-rate mortgages — the association chaired by Antonio Patuelli has issued a note (here all the details of the circular) to lenders to urge measures to meet subscribers: three options that can be adopted before the situation becomes problematic and insolvency is reached. In fact, the Italian mortgage market for home purchases represents the most significant part of household credit with over 425 billion euros in stocks (May 2023), of which 63% at fixed rates and 37% at variable rates.
Mortgages without cap
And the Abi's action is aimed precisely at the latter without a cap, that is, without an established maximum ceiling. If we consider the new disbursements of variable rate mortgages, over 30%, provides for a limit to the interest rate. In May 2023, interest rates on variable-rate home loans in Italy rose to 4.40% as a result of the hike, to speak from July 2022, of the reference rates of the Eurotower. Now banks can offer their customers solutions without new charges: therefore the extension of the amortization plan for loans for the purchase of a first home; the expansion of the number of beneficiaries of the renegotiation of mortgage loan contracts from variable to fixed, introduced by the 2023 budget law (for example, by admitting to the measure also subjects with an Isee income or with higher mortgages than the provisions of the law which sets them respectively at 35,000 euros and 200,000 euros).
The Solidarity Fund
In addition, banks will have to inform customers of the possibility of using the Gasparrini Fund, the solidarity fund set up in 2007 which allows you to finance the suspension of loan installments for the purchase of a first home for a value of up to 250 thousand euros, in the event of job loss, unemployment or death. In addition to these faculties, the association of banks recalls the possibility of transferring one's mortgage loan without expenses and costs to another bank (the so-called subrogation), modifying the relative contractual conditions, transforming the mortgage from a variable rate to a fixed rate. Measure also mentioned in the recent ABI memorandum of 9 July. It is about the maximum that banks can do because the regulatory framework of the EBA, the European Banking Authority does not leave much freedom: if the restructuring of the credit line or a loan involves a loss of more than 1% of the restructuring operation, the debtor is classified in default; the shortfall defined as onerous and therefore generates non-performing credit.