Campaign groups say turning the publicly-owned RBS into the Green Investment Bank would save money and also provide a model of sustainability for the rest of the banking sector A publicly-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) could fill the funding gap in renewable energy projects and 'kick-start' a green economy, if it was turned into the Green Investment Bank, say campaigners.
The previous Labour Government had promised to introduce a Green Investment Bank (GIB) and provide credit to help fund more low-carbon developments but there are now fears the current Government may scrap those plans for favour of a bank relying purely on private capital.
Campaign groups Platform and World Development Movement (WDM) argue that RBS, 83 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is already sitting on 'billions of pounds' of public money that could be redirected towards projects such as wind farms, high-speed rail and electric cars.
They commissioned a report by a former PricewaterhouseCoopers consultant and WWF policy advisor, published today, which argues that a refocused RBS could act as a role model for how banks should operate in the future.
'The UK can't afford another meltdown, yet short-term, high risk, carbon intensive investments are still business as usual for the banks,' says the report, 'A Bank for the Future – Maximising public investment in a low carbon economy'.