France’s banking monopoly rules have been
further relaxed following the market regulator’s
authorisation of a crowdlending platform to launch a European
long-term investment fund (ELTIF).
"The uptake of ELTIFs has a specific importance in France
because of the quasi-monopoly of banks on lending activity,"
Vincent Hatton, finance partner at Herbert Smith Freehills
"Up until last December, when the EU ELTIF regulation came
into effect, it was generally not possible for investment funds
to directly lend to corporates in France," he added.
The platform, Lendix, is the third entity to be given the
green light in France under the ELTIF scheme, and the first
crowd lender to go down this route. It was approved last week
by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers
(AMF), which had previously issued ELTIF authorisations to two
funds classified as French sociétés de libre
partenariat (limited partnerships) in April 2016.