EIB at a glance
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: 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
- Environment and climate
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 2 900 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.
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. We completed the extra lending thanks to the capital increase ahead of forecast in May 2015. This additional lending has allowed us to provide support to the economic recovery in Europe and have considerable impact on lives around Europe – check out the impact we made in 2015.
And the story does not end at the finalisation of the capital increase. In November 2014 the EIB President alongside the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker announced the Investment Plan for Europe, aiming to revive investment in strategic projects around Europe. As a key part of the Plan, the EIB has started to roll out the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). EFSI provides funding for economically viable projects where it adds value, including projects with a higher risk profile than ordinary EIB activities. More information on the EIB’s EFSI activities and progress can be found on the dedicated webpages.
In addition, the Bank is managing the joint EIB-EC European Investment Advisory Hub. The European Investment Advisory Hub aims to strengthen Europe's investment and business environment. The Hub offers a single access point to a 360 degree offer of advisory and technical assistance services.
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.