The National Audit Office (NAO) has criticised the UK Government’s sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB).

The watchdog praised the GIB’s progress in stimulating investment in the offshore wind industry.

But it concluded: “GIB’s impact in other sectors is less certain and in deciding to sell the Department [for Business, Innovation & Skills, now the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy] lacked clear criteria or evidence to show that GIB had achieved its intended green impact.”

The report also criticised the length of time it took to sell the bank, which grew from a planned nine months to 18 months, which affected the GIB’s operations.

Time will tell

The sale price – at the lower end of expectations – also came in for criticism, as did the lack of a binding obligation on new owner Macquarie to maintain the bank’s “green” credentials.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “Ultimately the value for money of the intervention will only be seen over time.

“A key test will be whether the government needs to intervene again in this way to stimulate growth in the green economy and to help it achieve its climate change commitments.”

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