Proactive Integrity Review
on SME loans
The Bank’s Fraud Investigation Division carried out several Proactive Integrity Reviews on loans to banks for on-lending to SMEs inside the EU and outside. The reviews found:
• indications of prohibited conduct and criminal offences such as money laundering;• high-value loans to beneficiaries allegedly linked to arms smuggling and organised crime;• front companies and loans linked to politically exposed persons;• loans to beneficiaries that did not meet eligibility criteria;• interference to override credit decisions without business rationale;• the banks provided the EIB with misleading and false information when the EIB was approving allocations.
In 2017, a number of “phishing” and internet scams misused the name of the EIB or its staff and management to try to cheat members of the public into paying administrative or application fees. Of course, as a publicly owned international financial institution, the EIB does not charge for such services. More importantly in the context of such scams, the EIB does not lend to individuals. The fraud included misuse of the EIB logo, the name and reputation of the institution, fake emails and parallel websites. Once notified of these concerns, the Bank’s Fraud Investigation Division quickly requested removal of the sites from the domain host and the closure of fake email accounts. The EIB also advised victims to contact specialist investigators in national law enforcement.