A former business secretary has attacked the government over the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank after its focus expanded offshore since leaving state hands. The bank was set up in 2012 by Sir Vince Cable, business secretary in the coalition government, with a mission to accelerate the UK’s transition to a greener economy. Cash raised on the markets by GIB was to be used to support investment in the UK’s green infrastructure, such as waste management and offshore wind power. But in August 2017 the Conservative government sold the bank for £2.3bn to Macquarie, the Australian financial group, in a move that was later criticised by parliament’s spending watchdog as “deeply regrettable”. Since leaving state hands, the bank was rebranded as the Green Investment Group and now describes itself as a “leading global green investor”, operating in Asia, the Middle East and North America as well as the UK and Europe. On Sunday, Sir Vince, said that the sale of the GIB was “totally unnecessary and damaging” because the bank had built up a considerable reputation for finding good projects in the UK that could be funded through the market.
FT 6th Jan 2019 read more »