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 do this with a commercial interest, they do not aim to compete with commercial banks. Therefore, they mainly focus on increasing the volume of investments and 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 allocated well in their home countries. Those NPBIs are linked to the EIB Group through one of the programmes or instruments of the EIF for which they offer equity or guarantees (e.g. COSME – EFG, InnovFin Guarantee, and InnovFin Equity).

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 loans, 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 types of sectors and projects, including circular economy initiatives. Several NPBIs have even shown specific interest in circular economy initiatives (see boxed text).

How to apply?

The application procedure differs among the NPBIs as 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. Below, a selection of NPBIs that have a specific focus on circular economy projects is presented.

IBB (Germany)

IBB is the business development bank of Berlin. They especially focus on SMEs, start-ups, and founders in Berlin. IBB offers a wide range of tailored investment products.

KfW (Germany)

KfW is a German state-owned development bank that, among other activities, offers equity for promising young (technology) companies. In addition, the bank supports circular economy initiatives through JICE.

Bpifrance (France)

Bpifrance is the French Sovereign Fund. They invest in start-ups, SMEs, and Mid-caps directly and through smaller funds. Bpifrance has developed a specific focus on circular economy initiatives through their participation in JICE.

CdP (Italy)

CdP is the Italian national promotional institute and fosters sustainable development through supporting innovation, growth, and internationalisation. Cdp also participates in JICE.

SID Bank (Slovenia)

SID is a Slovenian state-owned bank that promotes sustainable and economic development. They finance, among others, investments that promote the development of an Environmentally Friendly Society and Production.

ICF (Spain)

ICF is a public financial institution in Catalonia. ICF finances entrepreneurs, self-employed workers, micro-enterprises, SMEs, and large companies through a wide range of products, among which equity (venture capital).