The European Investment Bank was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1958 as the long-term lending bank of the European Union. The task of the Bank is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets which it lends on favourable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives. The EIB continuously adapts its activity to developments in EU policies.
The EU's bank
The EIB is the European Union's bank. We are the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. We work closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy.
A major player
As the largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, we provide finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of our activity is focused on Europe but we also support the EU's external and development policies.
Lending, blending and advising
- Lending: The vast majority of our financing is through loans, but we also offer guarantees, microfinance, equity investment, etc.
- Blending: Our support helps us unlock financing from other sources, particularly from the EU budget. This is blended together to form the full financing package.
- Advising: Lack of finance is often only one barrier to investment. We can help with administrative and project management capacity which facilitates investment implementation.
See 'Products section' for our full range of products and services.
We support projects that make a significant contribution to growth and employment in Europe. As part of our counter-cyclical approach, our activities focus on four priority areas:
- Innovation and skills
- Access to finance for smaller businesses
- Climate Action
- Strategic Infrastructure
We raise the bulk of our lending resources on the international capital markets through bond issues. Our excellent rating allows us to borrow at advantageous rates. We thus are able to offer good terms to our clients.
Our multiplier effect
We generally finance one-third of each project but it can be as much as 50%. This long term, supportive financing often encourages private and public sector actors to make investment which might not otherwise be made.
What makes the EIB different?
All the projects we finance must not only be bankable but also comply with strict economic, technical, environmental and social standards. Our corps of 300 engineers and economists screens every project, before, during and after we lend. We work hard to be accountable to EU citizens.
Around 2000 staff build on more than 50 years' experience and expertise in project financing. Headquartered in Luxembourg, we have a network of local and regional offices in Europe and beyond.
The EIB Group
The EIB Group consists of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, – the specialist arm providing SME risk finance. The EIB is the majority EIF shareholder with the remaining equity held by the European Union (represented by the European Commission) and other European private and public bodies.
Strong response to the crisis
When the financial crisis erupted in 2008, the EU asked us to offset falling investment. This led to a more-than one-third increase in the total value of on-going, outstanding loans by 2011. A EUR 10bn capital increase agreed by our shareholders, the EU Member States in 2012, allows for EUR 60bn additional lending in the EU during the 2013-2015 period. This has enabled us to already deliver an exceptional increase in lending in 2013 and provide support to economic recovery in Europe, playing our role to mobilising investment, attracting other investors and rebuilding confidence in the market. As the EU bank, we will continue on this growth-enhancing course as part in the Union’s strategy to address the longer-term consequences of the crisis, as laid out in our three-year operational plan.
How we have grown
Our HQ: Founded in Brussels in 1958 as the Treaty of Rome comes into force, we moved to Luxembourg in 1968. We relocated to our current site in 1980 with a major new building extension completed in 2008.
Lending: From ECU 10bn in 1988, our annual lending neared EUR 45bn in the mid-2000s before jumping to EUR 79bn in 2009 as a temporary response to the crisis. It was EUR 77bn in 2014.
Capital: From less than ECU 30bn in the early 1990s, our capital-base rose to EUR 243bn at 1st July 2013. The capital adequacy ratio was 28.7% at the end of 2013.
Partner countries: We made our first agreements with non-Member States and non-European countries in the early 1960s. Now we work with over 150 non-EU states which receive around 10% of our funding.
European Investment Fund: The EIF was founded in 1994 to specialise in SME and venture capital investment. The EIB is the majority shareholder supported by the European Commission and private banks.
Our people: From a workforce of 66 in 1958, we passed 1 000 staff members in 1999, and the total is now over 2 000. Most work in Luxembourg, but we also have external offices, in the European Union and across the regions in which we are active around the world.
Corporate responsibility is embedded in the EIB’s mission and Corporate Operational Plan. We operate on a non-profit basis and contribute to the balanced and steady development of the European Union and beyond. Our sense of corporate responsibility is reflected by our support for the creation of a sustainable and inclusive economy without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
EIB Group activities and decisions are driven by the need to improve environmental and social impacts, to foster governance, to strengthen the future viability of our counterparts’ business activities contributing towards the attainment of the EU’s objectives. This way, the EIB Group contributes to sustainable development and is held accountable by stakeholders and society.
Our corporate responsibility report defines clear targets on which we report yearly. To foster the implementation of these targets, we also conduct a yearly independent assessment of our performance. The results are measured as a Key Performance Indicator in our corporate operational plan.
The corporate responsibility team reports to the EIB’s Secretary General. We also work with a bank-wide network of corporate responsibility champions, who are experts in the different key building blocks of our Corporate Responsibility Performance, in order to engage the staff in understanding and promote best practice within the bank.
Our good corporate citizenship
- Responsible financing: creating growth and jobs through projects tested for their environmental, social and governance responsibility
- Responsible borrowing: deepening and developing capital markets for the benefit of all
- Our footprint: we seek to minimise the environmental impact from our offices and staff travel.
- We also procure fairly and we are an employer of choice
- Promoting community engagement: the EIB Institute boosts knowledge development, social progress and the arts
Compliance is integral to the Bank’s ethical, professional and business approach.
The independent EIB Compliance function promotes the highest standards of integrity and ensures that they are applied to all of the Bank’s activities, as outlined in our integrity policy and compliance charter.
As well as combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Compliance function strongly supports a corporate culture based on ethical values and professional conduct.
The Compliance function identifies, assesses, monitors and reports compliance risk. The Bank adheres to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s definition of compliance risk as “risk of legal or regulatory sanctions, material financial loss, or loss to reputation” to which an EIB Group member may be exposed, arising from a failure to comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations.
Areas of activity within Compliance include:
- integrity checks on operations and counterparties
- integrity of staff and governing bodies (ethics)
- ensuring that procurement selection procedures comply with internal rules.
In accordance with the principles laid down by the Basel Committee, Compliance is an independent Directorate under the guidance and responsibility of the EIB's Group Chief Compliance Officer (“GCCO”). The GCCO reports directly to the President of the Bank under the functional authority of the relevant Vice-President.
Compliance risk is managed at EIB Group level by the GCCO, who coordinates:
- the Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO), in charge of European Investment Bank Compliance and
- Compliance and Operational Risk (COR), in charge of European Investment Fund Compliance and Operational Risk.