French regulators’ new regime for direct lending by investment funds shows how EU member states continue to diverge in approach, amid calls for better harmonisation.
The proposal, published on April 1 by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), will allow certain types of investment funds to lend directly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
It is unclear at this point whether the rules will apply to pure French funds only, or if the market will for the first time open up to EU-registered firms, as many hope. “If not, it will be viewed as somewhat strict compared to other countries, and I think, rightly so,” said Marc Perrone, partner at Linklaters in Paris.
He added that overall, the French fund management industry is viewing the changes as a positive step.
While the UK, Luxembourg and the Netherlands allow direct lending through funds, this is viewed as...