The bank opened for business on Monday. That is, of course, the delivery of a key commitment in the programme for government. The Government will capitalise the bank with an initial £2 billion over 10 years.
It is the first mission-oriented bank in the United Kingdom.
The bank will address key societal challenges, help to shape future markets, spark innovation—I hope—and deliver a range of environmental, social and economic returns. Its primary mission—rightly so—will be to support our transition to a net zero carbon economy.
I believe that it is perhaps the most significant economic development in the lifetime of this Parliament, and I think that generations to come will look back and understand its importance.
The bank’s primary mission will be to support the transition to a net zero economy in response to the climate emergency. As I said, it opened for business this week, so it will increasingly become part of our green recovery from Covid, too. The bank will provide finances for businesses and projects that are working towards achievement of net zero emissions.
Earlier this week, the bank confirmed that its first investment will be in a company called M Squared Lasers Ltd, to advance further its research and development. The investment is key to upscaling the pioneering work that it is doing in quantum innovation, alongside the technologies that it uses and develops to help to monitor and tackle climate change. Consideration of the climate and the climate emergency is very much at the heart of that first investment. I think that we will see that theme developing strongly.