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Alternative Market Briefing

Irish Central Bank to scrutinize lending funds, acknowledges vital role in overcoming funding gap

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The Irish Central Bank has released a new discussion paper on loan origination by investment funds. In the paper, central bank officials have opened a discussion on the possibility of removing the prohibition on the origination of loans by alternative investment funds. The paper is meant to serve as a framework guiding a public comment period open until September 13, 2013.

UCITS funds have been prohibited from engaging in non-bank lending since 1985, an approach which has also held for some alternative investment funds in Ireland, however that may shift. "There is nothing in the AIFMD itself prohibiting an AIF marketed by an AIFMD-compliant AIFM from engaging in loan origination. The AIFMD regulates investment fund management rather than investment fund constitution, so it is not surprising that the AIFMD does not seek to regulate the investment strategies and activities of the AIFs themselves and does not therefore consider the merits or otherwise of loan origination. Irish authorised AIFs continue to be prohibited from engaging in loan origination because the Central Bank has used its discretionary powers under domestic law to prohibit them from doing so. However, the Central Bank has also indicated its willingness to consider higher risk profile options for Irish authoris......................

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