Stefano Ruvolo, Chairman of Confimprenditori, said:

“Caution is needed during Brexit negotiations, access to funds for Italian corporates should be safeguarded.

The quest for funds to foster growth and investment has traditionally been a priority for Italian SMEs. Within the context of the ongoing economic crisis, Italian SMEs face greater struggles due to the credit crunch and the combined effect of red tape and taxes. Access to credit comes shortly after bureaucracy and taxes – as recently highlighted by the 2016-2017 Competitiveness Index 2016-2017 issued by the World Economic Forum – in the ranking of top concerns of Italian entrepreneurs.

Ironically enough, SMEs, which represent 80% of Italy’s private workforce and 95% of the overall domestic market, attract less than 19% of existing loans. It is self-evident that there is a big problem. This problem will become even more acute if, as a consequence of Brexit, London-based lenders will lose the passporting system. This will also immediately impact Italian borrowers whose lenders are in London, and would jeopardize growth plans.

This is why Confimprenditori calls on the Italian government to duly consider the issue of SMEs’ access to credit during the Brexit negotiations. In fact, the risk is literally to throw out the baby with the bathwater.”

With hundreds of associated companies, Confimprenditori (https://www.confimprenditori.it) is one of Italy’s liveliest business communities, with a specific focus on small and medium enterprises.