Spanish Member of European Parliament Criticizes European Investment Bank

15 March 2004

The European Investment Bank "fails to comply with good corporate governance" and does not disclose enough information to the public, according to controversial criticisms in a report prepared by a Spanish member of the European Parliament, Monica Ridruejo.

After months of delay that Ridruejo considers intentional, her report will by taken up March 16 by a committee of the European Parliament. The panel is poised to delay action, or reject her report, she and news media reports predict.

Both the chairwoman of the committee and the EIB have criticized the wide-ranging 33-item report. The EIB has issued a point-by-point rebuttal, to which Ridruejo has responded.

Among other proposals, Ridruejo says the EIB should comply with internationally accepted rules of good corporate governance, and reveal more financial disclosure by its officers. She suggests the EIB "submit itself to the supervision of a body competent to closely monitor its balance sheet and risk structure," and asks that the EIB send its Corporate Operational Plan to the parliament.

In the transparency realm, she objects that the annual report doesn’t say enough about the "global loan" program in which commercial banks are deputized to make
loans, primarily to small- and medium-sized banks. She says the EIB has been "opaque" about the results of certain capital risk operations, and advises that the EIB publish more data, including a detailed quarterly report on its financial activities.

Ridruejo faults the EIB loan policies for being allocated "by implicit or explicit quotas" for allocating too much for the larger and richer countries. She says the EIB should publish more in the weay of selection criteria for new projects.

Resources Available

The debate over the report is growing and there are a variety of resources, beginning with the report itself.

Report in English
Report in Spanish

EIB reply

Ridruejo reply by the EIB, integrated with EIB comments

Minutes of a March 3 committee meeting

Letter in the March 1, 2004, Financial Times from Magda Stoczkiewicz, EIB Reform Campaign, Friends of the Earth, International/ CEE Bankwatch Network

By Toby McIntosh

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Filed under: IFTI Watch

ABOUT IFTI WATCH

In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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