MPs concerned about UK green bank’s proposed sale

MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have raised concerns about the proposed sale of the Green Investment Bank to an Australian bank. They have sent a letter to Business, […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have raised concerns about the proposed sale of the Green Investment Bank to an Australian bank.

They have sent a letter to Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Greg Clark, seeking assurances as to how ministers intend to ensure any future sale guarantees the green purposes of the bank.

It comes amid speculation Macquarie is gearing up to sell some of the bank’s key assets once it secures the £2 billion deal to buy it from the UK Government.

Last year the government proposed “special share” trustees to protect the bank’s green missions.

While the EAC welcomed the move, Chair Mary Creagh MP states she would also like to know how much capital the bidders have committed to invest in the bank in the next three to five years.

She also seeks to know how the government intends to ensure any future owner does not break up the bank.

Ms Creagh suggests Parliament should be informed of any proposed terms of sale of the bank before it is agreed and that the government sets out any commitments made by the new owners to respect the green purposes of the bank.

She adds: “The Green Investment Bank should continue to exist as a low carbon investor or its sale should not proceed. Ministers have rushed to privatise the bank without consultation or proper consideration of the alternatives. Taxpayers do not want to see a repeat of the Royal Mail debacle where public assets were sold at bargain basement prices and they do not want to see a landmark British institution sold off to an asset stripper.”