National Promotional Banks and Institutions (NPBIs)

In the EU, National Promotional Banks and Institutions (NPBIs) are legal entities that carry out financial, development, and promotional activities on a professional basis commissioned by national, regional or local authorities.

NPBIs aim to support their national or regional governmental targets by investing in projects, funds, and companies. Although NPBIs invest with a commercial interest, they do not aim to compete with commercial banks. Therefore, they mainly focus on increasing the volume of investments and on high-risk investments.

NPBIs often act as financial intermediaries for the EIB Group to ensure that investments in small- and medium-sized enterprises are being properly supported in their home countries. Those NPBIs are linked to the EIB Group either through direct loans or through one of the programmes or instruments of the EIF for which they offer equity or guarantees (e.g. COSME – EFG, InnovFin Guarantee, InnovFin Equity, Horizon 2020).

Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE)external link icon

Along with the EU’s five largest NPBIs, the EIB launched this EUR 10 billion initiative to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and circular economy. JICE will provide loan, equity investments or guarantees to eligible projects over the period 2019-2023.

Partnering banks and institutions in JICE:

  • European Investment Bank
  • Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (Poland)
  • Groupe Caisse des Dépôts (including Bpifrance (France))
  • Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (Italy)
  • Instituto de Crédito Oficial (Spain)
  • Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (Germany)

What is the relevance for Circular Cities?

Most NPBIs in the EU do not have a specific focus on a certain sector or industry. That means that most are open for financing requests for all different types of sectors and projects, including circular economy initiatives. However, several NPBIs have shown interest in circular economy initiatives (see boxed text).

How to apply?

The application procedure differs among the NPBIs because they determine this procedure themselves.

NPBIs with relevant CE debt initiatives

In addition to the five NPBIs that partner in JICE external link icon, several other NPBIs have explicit activities on financing circular economy initiatives. Here is a selection of NPBIs that have a specific focus on circular economy projects:

IBB (Germany)

IBB is the business development bank of Berlin. They especially focus on SMEs, start-ups and founders in Berlin. Loans are available for investing starting-up, in innovative projects, and growth stages.

KfW (Germany)

KfW is a German state-owned development bank that, among other activities, offers loans all around the world for investments that improve the environment. In addition, the bank supports circular economy initiatives through JICE.

NWB (Netherlands)

NWB is a Dutch national promotional bank that focusses on the public sector in the Netherlands. Especially initiatives that support water supply and environmental sustainability are eligible for short- and long-term loans.

BGK (Poland)

BGK is a Polish national promotional bank whose mission is to support social and economic development. Several loans for circular economy initiatives have already been provided by BGK through JICE.

SID Bank (Slovenia)

SID is a Slovenian state-owned bank that promotes sustainable and economic development. Among others, they provide long-term loans to municipalities for local public infrastructure, energy efficiency, and housing.

ICF (Spain)

ICF is a public financial institution in Catalonia. ICF supports green and circular initiatives among Catalan public and private entities and self-employed professionals, through its EcoGreen loans.