The European Union’s lender to industry, the European Investment Bank (EIB), has indicated that it wants to keep a tight lid on lending to automotive sector companies.

Philippe Maystadt, president of the EIB, warned that the bank was not likely to extend much more than EUR7bn in loans to carmakers this year, well below the EUR40bn the industry has asked for.

“We are ready to do a bit more, but there are some limitations in terms of sector concentration,” Mr Maystadt told the Financial Times.

“It would be a mistake to concentrate a too big part of our lending on one sector,” he added.

The FT report noted that the EIB line could inflame auto industry executives who have slammed the EIB for being too slow to lend.