The European Investment Bank is the bank of the EU’s member states.
The bank’s lending to the UK has increased by 37% since 2012. Over the last year, investment into the UK from the bank accounted for 11.2% of all EIB lending to member states — the highest of any country.
These loans are helping, for instance, Transport for London modernise its infrastructure and to help construct several hospitals — including a new acute inpatient services hospital near Birmingham and a new children’s hospital in Edinburgh.
The UK has also been the main beneficiary of the European Fund for Strategic Investments. The European Commission, member states and the European Investment Bank jointly launched this fund in 2015. Its aim is to plug the investment gap in the EU by mobilising private finance for strategic investments that will total at least €315 billion throughout the EU. It will run until 2020, and aims to help construct strategic infrastructure, invest in education, expand renewable energy sources and develop small and medium-sized companies.
Under this fund, UK projects have received close to €1 billion — one third of all lending in 2015. One of the key loans was €510 million to support the installation of some 7 million smart meters for British Gas customers throughout the UK.