- Access to finance
- Rescue procedures in case of insolvency
- Response to COVID-19
- Start-up support
- Support of business transfers
- Support of SMEs
Médiation du Crédit aux Entreprises
Credit mediation scheme for businesses
This is a nationwide scheme open to start-ups and companies of all sizes and legal status (large, small and medium-sized, very small and one person companies) that have been refused a loan from a financial establishment or encountering problems with credit insurance companies. The scheme is not available to individuals (personal loans) or companies in liquidation.
The credit mediation scheme was set up by the French government in November 2008 to help companies - particularly SMEs - experiencing financing difficulties. It is aimed at facilitating access to loans and easing cash flow problems. Since 2018, the credit mediation scheme is supported by the Banque de France, which provides it with all of its human and technical resources. A national credit mediator is nominated by the government to ensure that banks pass on financing to companies facing temporary economic difficulties. The national credit mediator is assisted by two delegate mediators in charge of managing applications with a national scope and particularly important issues. They also manage mediation services and provide support for local credit mediators with a national team of financial analysts. There are 105 local credit mediators in every country and French overseas departments and territories. Almost all the applications submitted are thus managed at local level.
After gathering all the necessary information, the company can file an application online on the credit mediation scheme website. Within 48 hours, the local credit mediator accepts the case if the company is eligible for assistance and defines a framework for actions. Financial institutions are informed about the mediation and have five days to reconsider their position. After the five days have elapsed, if the company still experiences difficulties in accessing finance, the local mediator contacts directly the financial institutions to resolve the situation and submit possible solutions to the different stakeholders (company, financial institutions). They can accept the proposals made, which put an end to the procedure. If the mediation was unsuccessful, the company can request a review of its case at regional level.
The credit mediation scheme also relies on a network of trusted third-parties, a professional network to advise companies prior to mediation and to support them in their procedures in consultation with the mediation teams. This network is set up in each department by consular networks, employer and professional organisations and support networks for business creation and takeovers.
- National funds
Banque de France
'trusted third parties' network: chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of crafts, and other professional networks that provide free guidance to start-ups; professional volunteers appointed to offer free guidance and steer towards mediation services if necessary.
Since it was set up in 2008, the credit mediation scheme has helped more than 23,000 businesses to continue their activities and safeguard nearly 415,000 jobs. Thanks to its intervention, it has released a total of €6.8 billion in credit. Out of the cases, 70% concerned problems of cancellation of financing lines, mainly short-term, or refusal of credit, for which solutions have been negotiated with the banks.
As reported by the last activity report of the Banque de France (2018), as much as 2009 mediation requests have been filed in 2018. Out of them, 80% related to very small companies especially in the retail and services sector (which represented 65% of the requests). Success rate for mediation was of 65%, steady compared to 2017. Overall, due to the improvement in the economic situation before the COVID-19 crisis, the number of mediation requests had decreased: in 2017, 2,302 mediation requests were filed (3,000 in 2015) and 1,514 cases were accepted (more than 2,000 in 2015). This global trend should however not hide the fact that very small enterprises still represent the majority of requests processed as these companies face structural difficulties to access credit.
The COVID-19 crisis has of course impacted the credit mediation scheme, heavily solicited in April 2020 and the first weekly statistics were published to report on its actions. In April 2020 as a whole, 3,429 companies were eligible for credit mediation, which is three times more than the number of mediation requests handled over the whole of 2019. The companies concerned are small businesses (with fewer than 11 employees), of which 86% applying for credit requests of less than 50,000 euros in half of the cases. For the 1,734 cases already dealt with during the month of April, the mediation proceeded positively in 63% of cases, a level comparable at this stage to the average rate observed in 2019 (64%).
The mediation process is quick, strictly confidential, available online and free of charge. It also provides solutions in a significant number of cases.
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