March 20, 2018 / 11:19 PM / a year ago

European Investment Bank ready to up its share of EU budget - media

European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer holds a news conference on its last year's results in Brussels, Belgium, January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe’s largest development bank, the EIB, could increase its share of the European Union budget from three to five percent, to help offset a gap caused by the departure of Britain from the bloc, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Alexander Stubb, vice president of the European Investment Bank, told the paper the two percentage point increase would boost the bank’s yearly contribution by 3 billion euros (£2.6 billion) to around 7.8 billion euros.

“We will help to ease the pain of Brexit,” Stubb told the newspaper.

He said the bank could not completely offset the loss of Britain’s funding after 2020, but it could ease the pressure by increasing its own contribution.

The EIB, which is owned by the European Union’s member states, uses their capital deposits as security to fund loans for research, infrastructure and environmental projects in Europe and around the world.

Brexit is expected to result in Britain taking back its 16-percent stake of shareholder capital in the bank, leaving a hole of up to nine billion euros in its finances.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Gareth Jones

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