He will be supported by Sir Adrian Montague, chair of various companies, including 3i and Anglian Water Group, as the bank’s deputy chair and senior independent director.
Lord Smith is currently chair of SSE and the Weir Group and chaired the Financial Reporting Council working group set up in 2003 to clarify the role of audit committees.
“The UK GIB is a major new innovation vital to securing investment in what is one of the great challenges of our age, the decarbonisation of our energy supply,” said business secretary Vince Cable.
“It has found two candidates of outstanding calibre well suited to leading the bank through its important early phase.”
The new board will now begin recruitment of other directors and the senior executive team with a view to having the bank – which will be based in London and Edinburgh – up and running by the autumn.
The government is paving the way for the establishment of the bank by making investments, on commercial terms, in green infrastructure ahead of obtaining state aid approval for the GIB. Last month it committed an initial £80m to two specialist fund managers who will make and manage investments in the small scale waste infrastructure sector on behalf of BIS’s UK green investments team.It has also made available another £100m for investment in the non-domestic energy efficiency sector, with a competition for fund managers launched last month. The outcome of the competition will be announced in the summer.