Business secretary Sajid Javid has announced that key legislation regulating the activity of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) will be have to be amended to facilitate the bank’s proposed privatisation, including an end to ministerial oversight.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 ensures that ministers control the bank’s governing principles, including a presumption that it fulfils a green remit.
Javid, right, announced the update on his plans to sell off the bank in a written Parliamentary statement.
“It is now clear that to achieve re-classification of GIB as a private sector enterprise, we need to remove the public sector controls imposed on the company by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
“Unless we remove these controls, there is a real risk the GIB would remain classified to the public sector even after a sale, so would remain subject to Government control over its capital raising. This unintended effect of the legislation has only become apparent in the course of our work to facilitate the GIB’s transition into the private sector.”
Javid pre-empts concern that this could mean a loss of focus on environmental schemes.
“I wish to make clear that the Government also wants and expects a privately owned GIB to continue this clear focus on green sectors – mobilising more private capital and further accelerating the transition to a green economy.
“It is clear from preliminary feedback that potential investors are interested in acquiring a stake in the GIB precisely because of its unique green specialism and its green-focused business plan.
“As part of any sale process, we would expect potential investors to confirm their commitment to the GIB’s green values and to set out how they propose to ensure these are protected.”