MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo <ISP.MI> has signed an accord with Gucci to ease financing for the small businesses that supply the Florentine luxury goods group owned by France's Kering <PRTP.PA>.
Italy is home to thousands of artisans in the leather, textile and jewellery sectors that supply big luxury brands who have seen sales slump due the COVID-19 pandemic.
Intesa said it would apply to Gucci's suppliers, which employed more than 20,000 people, the financing conditions enjoyed by Gucci itself, so as to make it faster and cheaper for them to access credit.
Despite their small size, which increases credit risks for lenders, firms that supply Gucci will be able to borrow on the more favourable terms generally reserved for large corporate clients.
Intesa said the accord would cover all the loans granted under emergency liquidity schemes linked to COVID-19.
The board of Intesa earlier this week approved a 6.3 billion euro state-guaranteed loan for Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI> which the car maker said it needs to support its operations in Italy and the entire automotive industry.
(Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by David Evans)