Scottish National Investment Bank

The Scottish National Investment Bank opened for business in November 2020. It is the first mission-oriented investment Bank in the UK.  

The Bank will:

  • address key societal challenges
  • shape future markets
  • spark innovation
  • deliver a range of environmental, social and economic returns

It will do this through the long-term missions Scottish Ministers have set for it. The mission-led approach is crucial, allowing the Bank to address social challenges as it invests in economic opportunities. 

The Bank's aims and objectives are aligned with Scotland Economic Strategy. The Bank has the potential to transform Scotland’s economy, providing patient and growth capital (debt and equity) for businesses and projects across Scotland and catalysing private sector investment

We have committed £2 billion to capitalise the Bank. It is clear there is a need for a Bank with ambition and vision - to address Scotland’s economic priorities - in a sustainable, inclusive and ethical way. The Bank will provide a source of long-term finance which – in partnership with the private sector – can invest in ambitious companies and low carbon infrastructure. This investment is key to supporting Scotland’s transition to a net-zero future.   

The Bank hold to the principles of equality, transparency, diversit and inclusion. The way the Bank operates will define it as an ethical, inclusive and trusted institution.

The three missions of the Bank are: 

  • achieving a Just Transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2045
  • extending equality of opportunity through improving places by 2040
  • harnessing innovation to enable our people to flourish by 2040 

Read more on the Scottish National Investment Bank website or mission statements   

The Bank’s teams continue to review requests, new projects from businesses with some £200 million invested on the establishment of the body from the government.

The Bank is wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers on behalf of the people of Scotland. It is a public limited company and has been established to operate commercially, and operationally independent from The Scottish Government. 

The ambition for Scotland to become a fair work nation by 2025 is reflected in the legislation which established the Bank and includes a commitment that the Bank promote fair work through all of its activities.  Scottish Ministers are required to issue a Fair Work Direction to the Bank within one year of its establishment.

This Fair Work Direction was issued to the Bank on 23 August 2021.


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. 

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 provided £130 million in 2019-2020 to establish the Scottish National Investment Bank and finance its early activities, and will provide £281 million in 2020/21 for the same purpose.


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. 

The Bill and its accompanying documents are on the Scottish Parliament website. 


The Programme for Government 2019-2020 confirmed that supporting Scotland’s transition to net-zero will be the Bank’s primary mission.

In December 2020, upon completion of the consultation process, the missions were set for the Bank by Scottish Ministers. These missions were also communicated to Parliament in order to conclude the mission setting process.


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