Frequently asked questions [EBRD - About us]

What is the EBRD?

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is an international financial institution that supports projects in over 30 countries, from eastern Europe to central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. Investing primarily in private sector clients whose needs cannot be fully met by the market, the Bank promotes entrepreneurship and fosters transition towards open and democratic market economies. 

More information

What is the EBRD’s mandate?

The mandate of the EBRD stipulates that it must only work in countries that are committed to democratic principles. Respect for the environment is part of the strong corporate governance attached to all EBRD investments.

What support does the EBRD provide its countries of operations?

The EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses, both new ventures and investments in existing companies. It also works with publicly owned companies, to support privatisation, restructuring state-owned firms and improving municipal services. The Bank uses its close relationship with governments in the region to promote policies that will bolster the business environment.

What are the criteria for an EBRD investment?

Every EBRD investment must help move a country closer to a full market economy. It should take risk that supports private investors and does not crowd them out. And the investment should apply sound banking principles.

Are there any areas that the EBRD does not finance?

The Bank does not finance defence-related activities, the tobacco industry, selected alcoholic products, substances banned by international law and stand-alone gambling facilities

Who owns the EBRD?

The EBRD is owned by 64 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB). 

How is the EBRD governed?

The powers of the EBRD are vested in the Board of Governors to which each member appoints a governor, generally the minister of finance. The Board of Governors delegates most powers to the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the EBRD's strategic direction. The President is elected by the Board of Governors and is the legal representative of the EBRD. Under the guidance of the Board of Directors, the President manages the work of the Bank.

Who is the President of the EBRD?

Sir Suma Chakrabarti is the President of the EBRD. He succeeded Thomas Mirow on 3 July 2012.

What are the official languages of the EBRD?

The four official languages of the EBRD are English, Russian, German and French.

Which are EBRD’s 34 countries of operations?

The EBRD invests and operates in the following 30 countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Estonia, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The EBRD ceased making new investments in the Czech Republic in 2007, but still manages a portfolio in the country.

Which of the EBRD countries of operations are EU candidate countries?

FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina (the last two as potential candidates).

Which of the EBRD’s countries of operations are EU member states?

Bulgaria, , Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia.

What makes the EBRD different from other IFIs?

We are a multinational institution set up with the specific aim of assisting countries to develop into market-oriented economies. Our shareholders include countries from both the region and the rest of the world, plus the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.

Aside from the EBRD’s regional focus, the strongest advantage of the Bank relative to other IFIs lies in our ability to operate both in the public and private sectors and to have at our disposal the broadest range and flexibility of financing instruments. The Bank is uniquely equipped in staff and range of instruments to support the different stages of transition.

Specifically, we seek to promote the development of the private sector within these economies through its investment operations and through the mobilisation of foreign and domestic capital.

How does the EBRD differ from a commercial bank?

The EBRD’s main advantages, compared with private commercial banks, lie in its willingness and ability to bear risk, as a result of its shareholder base.

This allows us to act at the frontier of commercial possibilities and be an effective ‘demonstrator’. The Bank also shares the project risk by acting with other private sector entities, such as commercial banks and investment funds, as well as multilateral lenders and national export credit agencies.

The EBRD assists companies that have difficulty in securing financing: as such, it complements the efforts of other lenders. While its structure is unlike that of a commercial bank, the EBRD has a similar approach to dealing with projects. A project has to be commercially viable to be considered. The EBRD prices its products on a commercial basis. It does not issue guarantees for export credits or provide retail banking services. With its AAA credit rating, the Bank is able to raise funds at the finest rates from international capital markets.

Why does the Bank prepare country strategies?

Each country is at a different stage in its transition towards establishing a market economy. Local conditions determine how the Bank can operate, shape its strategy and in some cases lead it to devise innovative ways of providing financing and reducing risk. The EBRD prepares detailed strategies for each of its countries of operations, adapting its financial tools and working methods to the opportunities and needs of each country and project. The level and pattern of demand for EBRD financing vary depending on the country’s stage of transition and its attractiveness to private sector investors.

What range of products and services are procured by EBRD or its clients?

The Procurement section details procurement activities, products and services procured by the Bank and its clients.

Where can I find information on procurement notices?

All procurement notices and opportunities are published and available on this web site. Potential suppliers are advised to browse through the relevant section of the procurement page to identify the specific products or goods that the Bank or its clients are in need of.

How can I apply for a job?

You can find out more about our employment opportunities, staff profiles and how to apply for a job here.

Where are the headquarters and the local offices of the EBRD?

The EBRD Headquarters is based in London at:

One Exchange SquareLondon EC2A 2JNUnited KingdomSwitchboard: +44 20 7338 6000Central fax: +44 20 7338 6100

The EBRD has 34 resident offices in its countries of operations. 

How can I contact EBRD staff?

All relevant contact details for EBRD staff in headquarters and regional offices can be found here.

How do I organise a visit to the EBRD Headquarters? I would like to takepart in a conference /invite a staff member of the EBRD to be a speaker at a conference.

For ‘Group Visit’ and conference requests contact:Email : Tel: +44 20 7338 6868Fax: +44 20 7338 6102

Last updated 13 August 2013