Scottish National Investment Bank

We want to be more ambitious for Scotland, providing patient and growth capital for businesses and catalysing private sector investment. In the Programme for Government 2017 to 2018, the First Minister announced plans to establish a Scottish National Investment Bank.

Businesses in Scotland often find it difficult to borrow money over a longer term (10 to 15 years), known as patient finance. This will be a key focus for the Scottish National Investment Bank.

The Bank will support ambitious companies and important infrastructure projects. By aligning its aims and objectives with Scotland’s Economic Strategy, the Bank has the potential to transform and grow Scotland’s economy.

The Bank will be operational in 2020, investing in businesses and communities across Scotland.

We have produced a factsheet containing information about our plans to create a National Investment Bank for Scotland

Our investment 

We have committed to investing £2 billion over 10 years to  capitalise the Scottish National Investment Bank, making it a cornerstone of Scotland’s economy.


We ran a public consultation on the Scottish National Investment Bank during September and October 2018 to help shape the Parliamentary Bill. This was augmented by a series of 21 engagements with key stakeholders. 

In February 2019 we published an independent analysis of responses to the consultation.

The Bill  

The Scottish National Investment Bank Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 27 February 2019. Introduction of the Bill marks a significant step towards the establishment of the Scottish National Investment Bank.

The Bill and its accompanying documents are published on the Scottish Parliament website. You can also read about the stages the Bill will go through.

The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee published its Stage 1 report on 4 July 2019 and the Scottish Government responded on 26 August 2019.

The Scottish Parliament approved the Bill in principle after a Stage 1 debate on 26 September 2019. Stage 2 is anticipated for November 2019 and Stage 3 for January 2020. 

We will also publish documents here that relate to the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill throughout its parliamentary passage:

  • the revised equality impact assessment (EQIA) has been published in line with our commitment to update and revise the EQIA published in February 2019. It identifies opportunities for the Bank to improve access to finance for people who share the protected characteristics and to remove barriers that they experience working in the financial services sector
  • the business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) considers the potential costs on businesses in Scotland that may result from the creation of the Bank
  • the draft articles of association provide the draft constitution for the Scottish National Investment Bank as a public limited company. This draft reflects the provisions of the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill. The final version of the Bank’s articles of association will reflect any changes that result from the Bill’s parliamentary passage
  • the child rights and wellbeing impact assessment (CRWIA) screening test assesses the potential impact that the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank will have on the rights and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland. It concludes that the Bank will have a positive impact on the rights and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland
  • the Fairer Scotland Duty assessment considers how the Bank can reduce inequalities of outcome arising from socioeconomic disadvantage. It finds that by improving access to the finance for socioeconomically disadvantaged entrepreneurs and for businesses with specific characteristics as well as by introducing Fair Work conditions to investments, the Bank can in fact have a direct impact on reducing socioeconomic disadvantage in Scotland


Through consultation, Scottish Ministers will set out major priorities for investment “missions” which address major societal challenges in order to achieve transformative and inclusive change. This will allow us to create and shape future markets and help define how our economy develops.

The Scottish National Investment Bank will be a public body but will operate commercially and be operationally and administratively independent from government. This provides the Bank with the  scope and freedom to decide what products it offers and how it delivers the missions set. The Bank’s Board will set out how they intend to meet the missions through an Investment Strategy.

In March 2019 an innovative mission-oriented framework for the Scottish National Investment Bank was presented by UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. 


The Council of Economic Advisers highlighted the important role that national investment banks play in providing long-term investment to support economic growth in many European countries.

In the Programme for Government 2017 to 2018, the First Minister announced plans to establish a Scottish National Investment Bank. Former CEO of Tesco Bank, Benny Higgins, and a small Advisory Group, led the work on developing an Implementation Plan. The plan was published in late February 2018, following a public consultation.

The Cabinet considered in detail the proposals outlined in the Implementation Plan, and we responded to the plan in a Parliamentary debate in May 2018, agreeing to accept all 21 recommendations.

In the Programme for Government 2018-2019, the First Minister announced plans to introduce legislation to formally underpin the bank. Having received parliamentary support, we are now taking forward the implementation of these recommendations under various work streams.

In June 2018 Benny Higgins was appointed as Strategic Adviser to the First Minister on the Scottish National Investment Bank.

In the Draft Budget 2018 to 2019 we announced the Building Scotland Fund as a precursor to the bank.

We will provide £130 million in 2019-2020 to establish the Scottish National Investment Bank and finance its early activities. The 2019-2020 Programme for Government confirmed that the Bank will work with partners from across our economy to deliver investment, with the transition to net zero its primary mission. We are also exploring other areas of focus/missions for the Bank.

Vacancies and opportunities

We are currently recruiting for the position of Chief Executive Officer: read about the opportunity and apply


For further information email