Fears mount over Green Investment Bank sale as MPs warn of asset-stripping

MPs have raised concerns over the proposed sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to private investors in a letter which urges Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Secretary Greg Clark to consider the bank's long-term role in the green economy.

The preferred bidder has received criticism for its asset stripping reputation and management of other large infrastructure firms including Thames Water

The state-owned institution is expected to be sold for around £2bn to Australian bank Macquarie. Reports earlier this week suggested that the preferred bidder has already lined up a series of potential buyers for the GIB’s most valuable assets, which include wind farms and biomass plants.

In light of these developments, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has written to Clark to seek assurances that the new owner will protect the bank’s green principles and will not pursue fragmentation of assets post-privatisation. Without mechanisms in place to ensure that the GIB can continue as a low-carbon investor, MPs insist that the sale should not proceed.

EAC Chair Mary Creagh MP said: “Ministers have rushed to privatise the it without consultation or proper consideration of the alternatives. Taxpayers do not want to see a repeat of the Royal Mail debacle where public assets were sold at bargain basement prices, and they do not want to see a landmark British institution sold off to an asset-stripper.”

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