In July 2013, the Central Bank of Ireland published a discussion paper on loan origination by investment funds, and the Central Bank has been a thought-leader on this subject in Europe for the last year.

Yesterday afternoon, in an address to the Irish Funds Industry Association Global Fund Conference in Dublin, Gareth Murphy, Director of Markets Supervision at the Central Bank, confirmed that the Central Bank intends to issue a public consultation on loan origination by Irish alternative investment funds before the end of July. The consultation is expected to take the form of a draft chapter to the Central Bank's Alternative Investment Funds Rulebook, and will seek to ensure that the risks of loan origination by funds are monitored and mitigated whilst opening up a potentially valuable channel of funding to the real economy.

This development follows on from the extensive work which has been carried out by the Central Bank on the origination of loans by funds, and the subsequent considerations by the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) in March 2014.

Ireland is already a well recognised domicile for the establishment of loan funds, and Matheson has advised on a significant number of bank loan funds operating in the Irish market.  We believe that the addition of a regulatory framework by the Central Bank enabling funds to originate loans distinguishes Ireland as a clear leader in this area in Europe, strengthening its position as the domicile of choice for these products.

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