The UK's stake in the European Investment Bank

Published: 2nd Jun 2017

In brief

Claim

The UK has £9 billion invested in the European Investment Bank.

Conclusion

Correct. This is the value of the UK’s shares in the EIB, based on its finances in 2016.

“We’ve got about £9 billion invested in the European Investment Bank, we have contributed for decades to this organisation.”

Suzanne Evans, 1 June 2017

This is right. As with all other members of the EU the UK is a shareholder in the European Investment Bank (EIB). It is the bank of the EU and works closely with the other EU governing bodies, investing in projects across Europe and around the world.

Along with Germany, France and Italy, the UK is one of the largest shareholders in the EIB with shares of 16%.

Earlier this year a committee of Lords said that “it is likely that the UK would claim its called up capital in the event that it ceased to be a shareholder of the EIB”, that was around €3.5 billion in 2016. But it said that “a more useful measure” would be be the UK’s share of the bank’s equity, reserves and profits for that year (known as the bank’s ‘own funds’.)

The EIB had around €66 billion of its own funds in 2016. The UK’s 16% share of that would be €11 billion or just under £9 billion.

The EIB’s rules state that its members must also be member states of the EU. For the UK to remain a member of the EIB after Brexit the rules would have to be changed—something that all the remaining members states would have to agree on.

As well as the UK having shares in the EIB, the bank also invests in projects in the UK. This investment totalled more than €29 billion between 2011 and 2015, followed by another €6.9 billion in 2016. Whether or not the EIB would continue to lend money to projects in the UK is likely to be discussed during Brexit negotiations. It would be possible for this to happen, but it would need the unanimous agreement of finance ministers in all the remaining EU countries.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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