The prospects for 2011 are still good. Interest rates are slowly recovering, partly on the back of the pressure on commodity prices, a potential hotbed of inflation. However, this is offset by a level of unemployment and use of plants which is still too low to produce significant effects on price changes. The recovery in rates will enable a reduction in the pressure which is affecting the income statements of banks which have based their operations on a “traditional” management model. Companies demand for credit will presumably receive a boost from the recovery in domestic product, although a vigorous growth seems unlikely.

Banca IFIS, which can rely on its capital endowment following the increase in 2010, can continue to grow in terms of volumes and profitability in a context which may still see some difficulties in terms of creditworthiness.

In 2011 the takeover bid promoted by Banca IFIS with regard to Gruppo Toscana Finanza will be completed. Due to the acquisition, which has already been agreed with the reference shareholders in Gruppo Toscana Finanza and authorised by the Bank of Italy following a complex assessment process, Banca IFIS will integrate the non-performing loan management business, which shows important synergies with the Bank’s own operations, good potential profitability, and attractive growth prospects. The level of business for the Banca IFIS Group will be intense and the impact in operating terms, as well as on the product range and future development, will be stimulating.