We are present in Italy in 11 regions with 355 branches, over 3,500 collaborators and we are part of the Crédit Agricole Italia Banking Group. We strive every day to achieve sustainable growth and profitability through the development of solid relationships with our stakeholders and the development of the territories in which we operate.
Since the beginning of the emergency, Creval has put in place stringent prevention measures, adopting all the safety standards indicated in the various legislative acts issued by the national and local Authorities and/or in the Protocols signed between the Government and the trade association (ABI) and Social Partners, as well as any more appropriate additional precautionary measures aimed at protecting the health of Employees and Customers while ensuring the proper operational functioning of the Bank.
In order to guarantee an immediate and constant monitoring of the emergency, we have activated an operational continuity plan, with the timely establishment of a Crisis Operating Group, defining a specific Coronavirus Operating Unit, the first internal information reference for all Employees on the issue. All aspects of Business Continuity were examined and the first initiatives launched to better address the extraordinary situation. To limit the risk of spreading the virus as much as possible, we have taken the following measures:
◾incentivisation of the use of remote working mode (smart-working);◾suspension of business trips for all Employees;◾suspension of classroom training courses with implementation and strengthening of the provision in online mode;◾suspension of appointments with consultants or suppliers at company buildings, activating alternative communication channels where possible;◾sending of specific communications addressed to all suppliers, consultants and contractors who usually work in the Bank's offices, aimed at recalling the most rigorous compliance with the ministerial, regional and/or local ordinances issued for this purpose;◾supply to operating personnel, in our buildings, of masks, gloves, instruments for measuring body temperature, separation screens and disinfectant gel;◾ dispositions to cleaning companies for the use of specific products for the hygiene of company premises and intensification of the related interventions on a daily basis;◾ public display (internal and external to the Company) of specific signs with the provisions to be followed in terms of interpersonal distancing, restricted access and hygiene rules;◾ implementation on the company intranet of a specific section dedicated and constantly updated with the company information from time to time integrated with the declination of the health and safety regulations adopted from time to time;◾ issue of guidelines to follow in case of contact with subjects positive for the virus;◾issue of behavioral guidelines to be followed while staying in the company spaces (branches and HQs).
In the initial phase of the emergency (Phase 1), the opening hours of the Branches to the public were changed, which remained operational only in the morning, every other day, providing for adequate shifts of the counter staff. Access to customers within the branches was immediately restricted and possible only by appointment for strictly necessary operations. In May, in conjunction with the relaxation of the restrictive measures issued by the Government (Phase 2), the ordinary hours of opening to the public were restored, while maintaining access only by appointment and the adoption of all regulations. aimed at safeguarding the necessary health and safety measures.
Operational continuity was also guaranteed through a real acceleration given to the remote working mode (smart working). As of 31 July 2020, 95% of the staff at the head office uses this operating mode which, in the period March-April given the involvement of even 65% of network employees (in the latter case, smart working was made possible thanks to applications that allow most of the branch operations to be replicated remotely). The possibility of working remotely has also been extended to all operational figures with a purely commercial profile who work in the staff to allow the carrying out of consultancy activities for customers. At the same time, specific information was provided to all employees via the intranet about the methods of using remote work tools.
We have accelerated the introduction of new online features, such as opening current accounts, the possibility of obtaining a personal loan, remote document exchange to facilitate the use of remote access channels by customers. In addition, remote contact channels with customers were enhanced to ensure adequate assistance and information for the use of the Bank's digital channels. We have also activated important communication initiatives to customers (both regarding the modified operations of the branches and the different access methods) by using digital channels (e-mail, sms, social networks), implementing the information on the website and on the traditional signs posted at the network structures. In particular, we wanted to better protect the older clientele groups most exposed to health risks.
Creval continued to strengthen its IT network by expanding the user perimeter to allow a higher number of simultaneous accesses to the company network (Virtual Private Network - VPN) as a result of the greater needs for remote connections by Employees and increase in the use of the Bank's on-line services by customers. The Bank also strengthened the anti-fraud safeguards and protocols by implementing measures aimed at preventing Phishing attacks.
On the credit risk front, an analysis was carried out on the entire portfolio which concerned in particular the most significant exposures and all those towards companies considered most at risk according to the rating level or because they operate in economic sectors most impacted by the Covid (Hospitality, Transport, Real Estate and Construction). Particular attention has been and will be paid also in the coming months to the monitoring activity, at both the Credit Area and the Commercial Network level, of the positions subject to the moratorium and in general on all those considered most at risk in order to identify any possible future tensions on the credit lines and therefore implement preventive and corrective actions and interventions.
Creval promptly took action with extraordinary initiatives as early as March to support its customers. In particular, we have granted families and businesses the opportunity to request a moratorium which provides for the suspension - for 12 months - of the principal amount of the loans. This initiative is in addition to those made available subsequently at the Government level and at the System level to which the Bank promptly adhered.
We have also carried out some social initiatives in support of the local population by donating 500 FFP3 masks at the end of March to ASST Valtellina and Alto Lario for the protection of health personnel involved in the front line in the care of the sick and over 20 PCs to children in economic difficulty in the province of Sondrio to guarantee the possibility of actively participating in distance learning.
The Bank has launched, through its "Insiemedoniamo" crowdfunding platform, a fundraiser through Fondazione Gruppo Credito Valtellinese, in favor of the "ASST Valtellina and Alto Lario" hospitals to support them in the care of patients suffering from Covid-19. The amount raised - € 173,120 - was allocated to the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers, pulse oximeters, infrared thermometers and other specific equipment for patient care.
Finally, in continuity with the commitments already undertaken previously, we have supported young students of some courses including those of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and "Palestre Digitali" for the dissemination of sustainability issues - a project led by Accenture with the participation of numerous partners, among which, Young Women Network, Assolombarda and Regione Lombardia - transferring the delivery of content in digital and e-learning mode.