Cheese as Collateral?!


Cheese as Collateral?!

In Japan, when you take out a loan from a bank, you often need to offer collateral in the form of shares, land, jewellery, etc. At some Italian banks, however, it is possible to borrow money from the bank using cheese as collateral. This system started in the 1950s and is still used by four banks in a northern region in Italy called Emilia-Romagna. However, it is not just any type of cheese that can be used as collateral, only Parmesan – a luxury cheese. Emilia-Romagna is famous for its Parmesan cheese, and many of the world’s finest Parmesans are produced there.

The length of the maturation process of Parmesan cheese is one of the reasons why it can be used as collateral for bank loans. It takes about two years for Parmesan cheese to mature. Of course, the producer has to pay the supplier for the ingredients, but as the cheese can only be sold after two years, they would not initially have the money to do so. This is why the banks lend money to the producers so that they can procure the raw materials. The Parmesan cheese is offered as collateral, and so if the cheese producer is unable to repay the loan, the bank will be able to recover the cheese and sell it.Thus, thanks in part to the financial support from Italian banks of cheese producers, Emilia-Romagna is continues to be famous for its Parmesan cheese.


・ take out a loan from a bank・・銀行からローンを借りる
・ recover・・回復する、取り返す
・thanks in part to・・~のおかげによるところもある





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