March 8, 2012 / 11:01 AM / 8 years ago

UK to base Green Investment Bank in Edinburgh, London

* GIB headquarters to be based in Edinburgh

* Main transaction team located in London

LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) - Britain’s Green Investment Bank, designed to spur private sector investment in low-carbon projects, will be based in Edinburgh and London, the UK government said on Thursday.

The headquarters of the GIB will be located in Edinburgh, with its main transaction team based in London to enable a greater commercial reach nationally than could be achieved from one location, the government’s department for business innovation and skills said in a statement.

“Edinburgh has a thriving green sector and respected expertise in areas such as asset management. London, as the world’s leading financial centre, will ensure that the GIB’s transaction team can hit the ground running,” said Vince Cable, the government’s business secretary.

A chair and senior independent director still has to be recruited for the GIB so that it can be fully operational by the autumn. The bank is expected to employ 50 to 70 full-time staff across the two sites.

The GIB will initially be capitalised with 3 billion pounds ($4.71 billion), but will not be able to borrow money until 2015.

“While we welcome and support the announcement of the location of the GIB this should not take away from other important unresolved issues,” said Sue Charman, finance leader at environmental group WWF UK.

“The current proposals that the bank won’t be able to borrow until 2015 risks hindering urgent and much needed investment in green jobs and technologies and the UK government should reconsider this,” she added. ($1 = 0.6367 British pounds) (Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by James Jukwey)

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