Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure FR-2008-43/2616 – measures in France
|Country||France , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 23 October 2008|
|Context||COVID-19, Restructuring Support Instruments|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Rescue procedures in case of insolvency or adaptation of insolvency regulation
|Author||Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||23 June 2022 (updated 29 November 2022)|
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 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, ending the procedure or 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.
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 strenght of this instrument is that the mediation process is quick, strictly confidential, available online and free of charge. It also provides solutions in a significant number of cases.
|Does not apply to workers||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Eurofound (2022), Credit mediation structure, measure FR-2008-43/2616 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/FR-2008-43_2616.html
30 January 2023
Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.Article
12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.