New public sector lenders created by the government since Brexit are investing two-thirds less than the UK was receiving from the EU’s European Investment Bank, a new report finds.
Over more than four decades, the EIB backed UK projects ranging from the Channel tunnel and the Manchester Metrolink to offshore windfarms and upgrading the National Grid.
The thinktank UK in a Changing Europe has compared the EIB’s record with the work of new Treasury-backed institutions including the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB).
The EIB invested an average of £6.4bn in the UK between 2009 and 2016 in real terms, peaking at £7.5bn in 2016 – the year of the Brexit referendum.
By contrast, the successor institutions created by the government, including the Leeds-based UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB), invested £2.4bn in 2022 – a third as much as the EIB was spending six years earlier.
“It is not clear that the UK’s domestic development banks will be able to fill the hole left by the EIB by the end of the decade. They lack staff and expertise, inhibiting them from scaling up operations quickly,” said Stephen Hunsaker who co-authored the report with Peter Jurkovic.