Why is the EIB still hiding one-third of its lending?
Blagoevgradska Bistritsa small hydropower plants, Bulgaria
Briefing | 4 March 2021
Financial intermediaries (FIs) help international financial institutions to reach smaller clients than they could reach by themselves. European Investment Bank (EIB) lending via intermediaries has doubled in the last 15 years, in 2019 accounting for approximately one-third of the Bank’s total operations in the EU. In 2020, the EIB Group provided EUR 30.56 billion for SMEs alone – which does not even cover the full range of intermediary lending. Yet the public has little idea what happens to this money.
Many international financial institutions are starting to realise the risks posed by financial intermediary investments; however, the EIB seems to be falling behind its peers. This briefing reviews the EIB’s current policy on disclosing investments made through FIs and compares the EIB’s policy to those of other international financial institutions. It finds that the EIB needs to commit to proactively disclose the following information on financial intermediaries’ projects, before any sub-projects are signed.