Twin headquarters for UK green bank

The UK's £3bn Green Investment Bank will be have its administrative headquarters in Edinburgh with its main transaction team based in London. 3i's Sir Adrian Montague is helping to set up the bank.

Britain's Green Investment Bank (GIB) – which is being set up to accelerate renewable investments across the country – will split its headquarters between Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced yesterday.

The idea is that the bank's administrative and asset management arm will function out of Edinburgh with the bank's deal team based in London. 

“Edinburgh has a thriving green sector and respected expertise in areas such as asset management. London, as the world’s leading financial centre, will ensure that the GIB’s transaction team can hit the ground running,” Cable explained in a statement.

The GIB is seeking to complete its recruitment process ahead of an Autumn launch and is looking to employ between 50 and 70 people full time across the two sites, the government said. Sir Adrian Montague, chairman of 3i Group, is leading a nine-member advisory group that is helping the government to set up the bank.

The bank has been allocated £3 billion (€3.6 billion; $4.7 billion) from the government which will serve as its initial capital until 2015.

“This initial £3 billion capital should enable the bank to catalyse an additional £15 billion of investment in green infrastructure,” Nick Clegg, the UK’s deputy prime minister, has said. The bank will target relatively high-risk projects and will prioritise certain sectors, such as offshore wind, industrial energy, efficiency and waste.

From 2015 or 2016 onwards, “and once debt is falling as a percentage of GDP [gross domestic product]”, the GIB will “have borrowing powers which will allow it to scale up its operations significantly at a time when the financing need is greatest,” Cable previously explained.

The UK has set itself the legally binding target of reducing its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2025.