Transparency and accountability

As the EU bank, we strive to be exemplary in terms of the transparency and accountability of our work. We proactively publish information and engage with our stakeholders. Mutual benefits are provided by the involvement of stakeholders such as civil society organisations in our activities. Transparency improves the effectiveness and sustainability of policies and strategies along with the operations we finance, and it increases our accountability towards all our stakeholders. Transparency therefore helps us to deliver better results and build trust.

The EIB Group Transparency Policy sets the principles applying to access to information and to stakeholder engagement activities. It is directed towards shaping the way we communicate and developing a constructive dialogue with stakeholders based on mutual trust.

Openness is a guiding principle of the Transparency Policy. It means that the rules and reasons behind policies and practices are fair and clear to all stakeholders. However, the policy also identifies exceptions for non-disclosure of certain information when publication would undermine legitimate rights and the interests of third parties involved in projects.

The EIB Group goes beyond its legal obligations for accountability. Under its Anti-Fraud Policy, it has a zero-tolerance policy on fraud or corruption whether occurring in connection with projects, loans or equity financed by the EIB Group or perpetrated by its own staff. This is supplemented by robust investigation procedures followed by the Fraud Investigations Division under the Inspectorate General of the EIB Group. The mission of the Inspectorate General also includes conducting proactive integrity reviews in areas of increased risk and providing lessons learned from reviews and investigations in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the EIB Group’s operations and activities. Each year, a report is issued on the work undertaken by the EIB Group to combat fraud and corruption.

The Operations Evaluation Division carries out independent assessments of EIB Group activities in order to:

  • Assess whether our activities have been in line with what is required by our policies and the strategies derived from them, and if these activities have been delivered as expected;
  • Identify possible areas for improvement of the EIB Group’s activities, to enhance performance in the future.

The Operations Evaluation Division represents an important feedback loop that informs decision-making at both the operational and strategic levels. It provides a valuable tool for understanding the impacts of the EIB Group’s projects, but also the factors explaining those impacts, thereby helping to capitalise on past experience to improve performance going forward.

Evaluation of EIB intermediated lending in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific

The EIB supports access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises and initiatives in ACP countries, notably through intermediated lending operations implemented under the Cotonou Investment Facility. In 2017 the EIB finalised an evaluation of intermediated lending provided under the facility. This found that the EIB was the second-largest provider of intermediated lending for private enterprises in the ACP region over the period 2010-2015 (excluding microfinance). During this period, 85% of final beneficiaries were enterprises with fewer than 100 employees, considered to be SMEs by most local definitions.

A very significant share of lending was in local currency, eliminating the exchange-rate risk for both intermediaries and their clients. Information on jobs reported by the financial intermediaries indicates that the operations approved by the EIB between 2010 and 2015 were expected to create 22,324 new jobs and sustain 47,649 existing jobs. The majority of these jobs were expected to be created in East Africa (Kenya and to a lesser extent Uganda). Mid-caps with between 250 and 3,000 employees were expected to create the most jobs overall, on average, and per euro invested.

Intermediated lending can only address one of the numerous barriers constraining access to finance in developing countries, namely the unavailability of long-term liquidity, particularly in local currency. The evaluation therefore recommends that the Bank continues exploring the combination of this product with instruments addressing the perceived risk of lending to SMEs and the insufficient capacity of financial intermediaries and SMEs.

All thematic evaluation reports produced by the EIB are available on our website.