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Profitable Italian neobank Illimity starts 2021 on a high with first-quarter record

CEO Corrado Passera is launching a new strategic plan for the bank next month.

a man in a suit smiling

Corrado Passera/Illimity.

After turning a profit for the first time in 2020, Italian neobank Illimity looks set to continue the trend in 2021 with its first-quarter results, including a record €12.6m net profit.

Overall net customer loans and investments reached over €2.2bn, up 34 per cent year-on-year, but relatively flat quarter-on-quarter.

The bank’s key driver for the quarter was lending to Italian SMEs, which reached a net €869m during the quarter, up 56 per cent year-on-year, with the division turning a net profit of €3m.

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

“We are very satisfied about the start of 2021,” said the bank’s CEO Corrado Passera.

“The growth of our lending activity, the quality of our portfolios, the scale effect that is now emerging in various areas of our business and the resulting economic performance all confirm the choices we have made so far.”

Passera is due to launch a new 5-year strategic plan for the bank on 22 June, which he teased was the result of “a number of strategic developments not initially foreseen are also emerging”.

Illimity also completed the 50 per cent acquisition of Banca Sella-owned open banking platform HYPE on 1 January, and Passera reported that the group had already seen a significant increase in customers during the first quarter, up 26 per cent year-on-year.

HYPE booked gross revenues of €2.8m during the first quarter from its 1.4m customers, around 20.6 per cent of which are fee-paying, to turn an expected loss of €4.2m.

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