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British International Investment (BII), is the development finance institution of the United Kingdom. It was established in 1948 as the Colonial Development Corporation (CDC) and renamed the Commonwealth Development Corporation in 1963. In 2021, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), renamed it British International Investment, with the FCDO as its lone shareholder. BII joined the Association of bilateral European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) in 1992.
BII came twelfth from 21 non-sovereign DFIs assessed with a score of 26.5 out of 100. BII received a 50% point penalty for all project-level indicators due to the fact that its project database was significantly out of date at the time of assessment. This penalty had an adverse effect on its overall ranking. BII makes a bulk download file of investment data available and publishes investments to the IATI Standard. BII scored relatively well for the Impact Management and Financial Intermediary Sub-investments components, but not so well for the other three.
BII came eleventh in the Core Information component, with 8.35 out of 20. It scored for sixteen out of the seventeen indicators, only failing to score for E&S risk category. BII scored well for format of publication for many indicators because a bulk download was available containing much information and it published investments to the IATI Standard. However, some indicators such as investment instrument failed to gain points for IATI publication due to incorrect information. BII’s score dropped significantly due to it receiving a 50% penalty on all project-level indicators as a majority of investments from 2021 were not disclosed on its project database.
BII scored 11.25 out of 25 in the Impact Management component, coming fifth out of the non-sovereign DFIs. It scored well for organisation-level indicators, only failing to pick up points for its sector/country strategies being uploaded to IATI. It was one of five non-sovereign DFIs to score for the additionality statement indicator. However, it did not score for any other project-level indicator in this component.
BII scored 3.67 out of 30 in the ESG and Accountability to Communities component, coming joint second-last. It only scored for the E&S global disclosure policy and E&S community disclosure policy indicators. BII did not score for any project-level indicators in this component, failing to provide adequate summaries of E&S risks and failing to disclose any E&S documentation for investments.
BII came joint-last in the Financial Information component, with 0.75 out of 15. It only scored for the financial reports/statements indicator. Again it did not score for any project-level indicators.
BII scored 2.5 out of 10 in the Financial Intermediary (FI) Sub-investments component, which was joint second. Significantly, it was one of only three non-sovereign DFIs to score both for having a policy for FI sub-investment disclosure and for disclosing private equity fund sub-investments. It also scored for the FI (bank) use of funds indicator, but did not for FI (bank) sub-investments.
- BII should publish investment data in a timely manner.
- It should increase data publication to IATI and ensure the accuracy of published data. Data that could be published to the IATI Standard include project description, country, investment instrument, and client description.
- BII should create an organisation file on IATI and should upload organisational documents, including its annual reports, sector/country strategies, and financial report/statements.
- BII should disclose further Core Information data including sub-national location, sub-sector, disbursement, E&S risk category, date of activity disclosure, signature date, and last update date. It should consistently disclose total investment cost and client contact details.
- It should review its disclosure policy, benchmarking to current best practice.
- It should consistently disclose project-level Impact Management indicators, including activity indicators/metrics and results.
- BII should disclose project-level ESG and Accountability to Communities indicators, including summary of E&S risks and E&S documentation.
- BII should review its ESG policies and create an independent accountability mechanism (IAM), following best practice examples.
- It should develop an early disclosure policy covering, at a minimum, high risk projects and disclose investments in line with the policy.
- BII should provide assurance of community disclosure for investments when disclosure is required.
- BII should disclose concessionality and mobilisation data for its investments. It should consistently disclose for the repeat investment, co-financing and instrument-specific details (share of equity and loan tenor) indicators.
- BII should publish qualifying FI (bank) sub-investments in line with Publish What You Fund’s DFI Transparency Tool.