Green Investment Bank "delay" concerns Hillier

The Shadow Energy Secretary has expressed concern over the delay in Green Investment Bank lending. Speaking at the Offshore Wind Conference in Liverpool yesterday, Meg Hillier worried that the pushed […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The Shadow Energy Secretary has expressed concern over the delay in Green Investment Bank lending. Speaking at the Offshore Wind Conference in Liverpool yesterday, Meg Hillier worried that the pushed back lending risked “throttling” the growth of smaller green businesses.

The Green Investment Bank is the new financial body that will loan money to green businesses in the UK and is the first institution of its kind in the world.

Ms Hillier said: “I keep meeting really interesting entrepreneurs who are at the stage of setting up their business but are desperate for finance that the banks won’t lend, because their pension funds want to lend to certain technologies and are nervous about anything new.

The Labour MP warned that it may not be as successful as the Coalition hopes if it can only begin lending in 2015.

“That’s why we had great hopes for the Green Investment Bank, but I’m very worried, I’m hearing more and more, that even when it is able to lend, it will be lending large, large amounts of money to very large businesses that already exist.”

She added that the GIB must have an element that supports slightly “riskier” start up businesses to keep the UK ahead of the technological curve, or risk “stifling that at birth”.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has said that the Green Investment Bank’s “mission will be to accelerate private sector investment with an initial remit to focus on relatively high risk projects that would otherwise be likely to proceed slowly or not at all.”

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