UKIB defends record following MPs’ criticism

The UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) has underlined its success in unlocking private capital into infrastructure projects, following a scathing report from the Commons public accounts committee.

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The MPs had questioned the role of the bank, with chair Dame Meg Hillier saying “it’s really not clear what the UKIB is doing that the market wasn’t already”.

However, the UKIB has defended its position, having announced 10 deals to date, “unlocking more than £4.6 billion in private capital, supporting projects across a range of sectors, including transport, solar and digital infrastructure”.

It added: “We note the PAC cites us as having initially taken a ‘sensibly cautious approach’ to deals, and in the coming year we expect to invest in an increasing range of sectors and technologies, with a particular focus on clean energy and storage, in line with our strategy published in June. We will continue to test our published approach to additionality in our deals.”

The committee had also criticised the bank’s progress on increasing staffing levels, but the UKIB has responded by revealing that since its appearance before the committee in November, it had 31 permanent staff out of a total of 181 by the end of 2022, and that figure is due to rise to 66 “soon”.

The UKIB was established 18 months ago with a mandate to unlock private investment in key infrastructure sectors such as the energy transition and technology.