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No soft loans from GIB, warns chief

The Green Investment Bank will have lending criteria akin to its private sector counterparts, according to a senior member of the start-up team, who warned there would be “no soft loans”.

Sir Adrian Montague, chair of the advisory group setting up the much-vaunted bank, told the green sector not to “expect handouts”.

He told the Times: “We are not trying to give soft loans and grants. We are not looking to give grants and support in areas where the private sector would not give support.

“We are looking at the technologies that need the leg-up to be commercial.”

He added: “I am trying to build a bank based on sound principles. I want to make sure the money is coming back.”

The comments prompted pundits to suggest The Treasury had won the argument with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which had been pushing for the bank to make far riskier investments to boost the battle against carbon.

Business secretary Vince Cable confirmed in December that waste projects would be a major priority for the bank, and that the UK Green Investments team had been set up to drive green infrastructure investment until the GIB goes live.

Sir Adrian’s comments come with ministers deciding which fund managers will oversee the £100m earmarked for investment in smaller waste infrastructure projects.

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