Italian neobank illimity turns €31.1m profit as lending booms

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 11 February 2021

Digital Banking

A sharp turnaround from illimity’s €16.1m loss in 2019.

Italian neobank illimity turns €31.1m profit as lending booms
Image source: Corrado Passera/Illimity.

A substantial increase in customer lending and investments has helped Italy’s illimity reach profitability, turning a net profit of €31.1m in 2020.

While illimity has a consumer-facing bank, its key revenue drivers are its SME lending arm and its investment and servicing of distressed credit.

That net lending and investment that reached €2.2bn last year, up from €1.6bn in 2019, helping to drive a sharp turnaround from its €16.1m loss in 2019.

In total illimity reached assets of €4.1bn at the end of the year, up from €3bn in 2019.

“The Bank has never once interrupted its growth path in this difficult situation and has also invested in new strategic initiatives whose positive effects will become visible in future years,” said Corrado Passera, illimity’s CEO.

Among the initiatives mentioned by Passera was illimity’s 50 per cent stake in Banca Sella-owned open banking platform HYPE.

The €140m deal means that Banca Sella and illimity are now working together to build the country’s largest open banking platform.

“In 2021 we will continue to grow together with our customers and are expecting to see a significant increase in our results, despite the costs we will have to incur and the investments required for the development of new projects and the completion of the build of the new paradigm bank that we have promised our investors,” added Passera.

On the consumer banking side, illimity said it now counts 43,000 customers at the end of January 2021, these customers accounted for over €1bn in deposits yet remain a high cost to the business turning a divisional loss of €21.7m last year.

Overall Passera and the team are bullish on illimity’s prospects for 2021 and beyond, with “significant growth” anticipated in both SME lending and especially within the distressed credit division.

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