Non-government organization CEE Bankwatch is not happy with the amount of information the European Investment Bank has provided regarding its lending to the Volkswagen Group in recent years. Bankwatch wrote to the EIB at the end of September, asking the bank to disclose documents related to the “green loans” it provided to VW, wanting to see loan contracts or evidence that VW used the money according to the conditions of the contract.
In late September, shortly after news of VW's emissions manipulation broke, CEE Bankwatch Network contacted the European Investment Bank (EIB) with a detailed request to disclose information about its immense support to VW Group. In view of the profound public interest in the case, the highly insufficient responses we have received so far are particularly disconcerting. In this letter, Bankwatch therefore asks the EIB's board of directors to turn to the bank's Management Committee for the public disclosure of information related to EIB loans for the Volkswagen Group.
The dieselgate scandal is symptomatic of a ‘better regulation’ agenda in favour of cutting compliance costs and replacing the role of the public regulator with corporate co- and self-regulation. More than 35 civil society organisations have signed this letter calling for immediate and transparent investigations; EU oversight in the process of type approval for motor vehicles; strengthened enforcement of environmental legislation at EU and Member State level; the suspension of fraudulent companies from the EU lobby register until it has been demonstrated that they comply with EU law.
In the wake of last month’s Volkswagen (VW) emissions scandal, a Politico story, based on a Bankwatch analysis, revealed that the car manufacturer enjoyed generous public financial support from the European Investment Bank (EIB). But the full picture is even more disturbing.
The European Investment Bank said Monday it is working to find out if any of its loans to Volkswagen to boost research into cleaner engines and other green technology were instead used to rig cars to cheat on emissions tests.
“We are looking into our exposure, we are looking into seeing where the individual loans have been used,” said Jonathan Taylor, the bank’s vice-president.
The Volkswagen Group received more than €4 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank over the last decade, with much of the money going to research aimed at developing cleaner engines.
The world’s largest carmaker is embroiled in a global scandal after installing so-called defeat devices in 11 million of its diesel cars to cheat on emissions standards tests, a scandal that has cost the CEO his job, opened the company to a potential fine of $18 billion in the U.S., pummelled the stock price, and prompted investigations across Europe.
Following revelations about Volkswagen cheating in emissions tests and about the European Investment Bank's substantial support for VW - including loans for research and development of cleaner engines, Bankwatch requested information on EIB loans to the car maker.