The Treasury has appointed two advisers to help it create Partnerships UK, the public-private bank that will provide capital for private finance initiative projects.

Investment bank NM Rothschild and lawyer Herbert Smith have been appointed to carry out due diligence checks on the bank, which is due to open in spring.

It is still unclear whether or not the Treasury is acting outside its powers in setting up the bank. If it is, primary legislation will be required to extend its competence. Any enabling legislation will be announced in the Queen’s speech next month.

The advisers will also examine whether the bank should take stakes in projects it has helped to procure.

  • Last week, the Treasury issued public guidance on how civil servants should carry out public sector comparisons on PFI deals.

    The guidance sets out how the long-term costs of PFI bids should be compared with the estimated cost of conventional public sector procurement.