BREXIT: UK infrastructure will have trouble raising funds as Brexit approaches, says EIB head

Out-Law News | 12 Oct 2016 | 5:32 pm | 1 min. read

Recent levels of lending to UK infrastructure projects by the European Investment Bank (EIB) cannot be maintained as the country moves towards leaving the EU, the bank's president has said. 

The UK has borrowed an average of €7 billion a year in recent years, at low interest rates, but will now have to look elsewhere for funding for areas including climate change mitigation, energy efficiency and transport, EIB president Werner Hoyer told the Financial Times

The UK currently has a 16% stake in the EIB, but only EU members can be shareholders. The bank does lend to non-EU countries but at lower levels, and lending will have to be reduced even before the UK actually leaves the EU, Hoyer told the newspaper.

"I foresee developments in the [Brexit] negotiations that will make it not easier to continue with lending decisions because these will have to be taken not by the management of the bank at the end of the day, but on our proposals by the representatives of the member states," he said.

"The UK is relying heavily on us and there are many people in the UK who will miss the EIB," Hoyer told the Financial Times.

"Even if we find a way to continue lending in the UK, I am absolutely sure that the enormous volumes we have achieved over the last couple of years cannot be maintained," Hoyer said.

The EIB was set up in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome. It describes itself as "the European Union's bank", and "the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union member states. We work closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy."