New Central Bank Communication on Small and Medium Enterprise Finance

On 19 January 2023, the Central Bank of Argentina (“BCRA”) issued Communication “A” 7673 (the “Communication”), which approved the creation of the registry of Platforms for MSME Financing (the “PFMs”).
PFMs are “legal entities that facilitate, through computer tools and/or systems, the arrangement of transactions with electronic credit invoices for MSMEs (“FCEM”) under the terms provided for in article 13 of Law 27.440 on Productive Financing, as well as other instruments that the regulations determine as admissible”.
The Ley de Financiamiento Productivo 27.440 (“LPF”) defined FCEMs as an enforceable and non-cash security that must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be issued in the context of a purchase and sale for production or commercialisation purposes;
  2. Both parties must be domiciled in the national territory; and
  3. The term of payment must be more than 15 days.

The Communication established that only financial institutions and non-financial credit providers may act as purchasers of FCEM. Among the responsibilities of PFMs are:

  • The prohibition to assume credit risk or guarantee, directly or indirectly, the transactions concluded through them.
  • The prohibition to act as sellers or buyers of the instruments traded through them, nor to operate or manage the funds of their users, nor to intervene in the settlement of transactions on their own platform, nor on other platforms or technological systems.
  • Provide clear and simple information to the intervening parties.
  • Discriminately disclose the commission for its services, without adding to the discount rate offered by the buyer.

PFMs must register with AFIP. In addition, they must comply with the obligation to submit a manual of procedures for the operation of their platform and the offering of FCEM transactions to the investor.
PFMs must submit copies of their financial statements, allowing for periodic audits to be carried out in person or by mail, and comply with the information regime established.

The BCRA established that legal entities already providing the services must be registered before 1 June 2023.

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