Financial Services Advisory Board minutes: May 2018

Record of discussion for the May 2018 meeting of the Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB).

Attendees and apologies


  • Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister 
  • Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work
  • Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Energy and Innovation
  • Jim Pettigrew , Scottish Financial Enterprise, Industry Chair
  • Malcolm Buchanan, Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Christine O’Neill, Brodies
  • Angus McPherson, Noble and Company 
  • Graeme Jones, SFE
  • Damien Yeates, Skills Development Scotland 
  • Maggie Craig, FCA
  • David Skinn, Aviva 
  • Philip Grant, Lloyds Banking Group

Also in attendance

  • Bronwyn Torrie, SFE
  • Colin Macleay, Standard Life Aberdeen
  • Sharon Hamilton, Scottish Enterprise
  • Stephen Ingledew, FinTech Scotland
  • Scottish Government
  • Karen Rodger, Policy Lead, Financial Services
  • Jacqueline McKellan, Senior Policy Executive, Financial Services
  • Francis Taylor, Policy Advisor, Financial Services


  • Agnes Tolmie, Unite the Union
  • Barry O’Dwyer, Standard Life Aberdeen
  • Catherine Burnet, KPMG
  • Linda Hanna, Scottish Enterprise
  • Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Virgin Money 
  • Anne Richards, M and G 
  • Barry Muir, State Street 
  • Sue Dawe, Ernst and Young
  • Geoff Aberdein, SFE Public Affairs & Communications Group
  • Louise Smith, RBS

Items and actions

Welcome and Introductions

Jim Pettigrew, Deputy Chair, welcomed members and invited Mr Wheelhouse to provide the opening remarks on behalf of First Minister.

Mr Wheelhouse thanked CYBG for hosting and welcomed new members attending their first meeting of FiSAB: Maggie Craig, FCA Damien Yeates SDS, and David Skinn, Aviva, and introduced Stephen Ingledew, Chief Executive, FinTech Scotland. Apologies for absence were noted.

Mr Wheelhouse advised members that The Lobbying Act (Scotland) 2016 came into force on 12 March 2018 and that Scottish Minsters are covered by its terms and that minutes of FiSAB are published. 

Jim Pettigrew noted that Scottish Financial Enterprise’s 5 year plan is progressing well with the support across the Scottish financial sector.

Scottish Government update

Visit programme to New York

Mr Brown provided an update on his recent visit to New York for Scotland Week, with a programme focused on promoting trade and investment, culture, heritage, innovation & entrepreneurship, and engagement with the diaspora network. Events included an ‘Invest in Scotland’ business breakfast and a networking lunch hosted by Aberdeen Standard Investments.


Mr Brown updated the Board on latest activity on Brexit discussions and negotiation with UK Government. Mr Brown recognised the work that the sector has done to prepare for Brexit, while uncertainty remains over final agreement. 

Mr Brown noted that the Scottish Government is not opposed in principle to UK-wide agreements when they are in Scotland’s interests, but that such agreements must be agreed, not imposed. The Scottish Government is awaiting further proposals from the UK Government to deliver an approach, not just in Scotland, but across all UK governments.


Mr Brown provided a short update on Scotland’s economic performance noting that Scotland’s productivity growth has been higher than any other country or region of the UK, including London, but still behind many of our international competitors.

Scottish National Investment Bank

Mr Brown provided an update on progress towards establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB). Cabinet has considered in detail the proposals outlined in Mr Higgins’ Implementation Plan published in February 2018 and agreed that the Scottish Government will accept all 21 of the published recommendations. 

The Scottish Government is committed to investing £2 billion over 10 years to capitalise the Bank. This scale is deemed to be ambitious, achievable and realistic, at a level that will make a material difference to the supply of capital to the Scottish economy and can lever in additional private investment.

This bank will operate on a commercial basis, independent from Ministers, its board making decisions about where to invest and on what terms and being accountable for the decisions and choices that they make.

A unique feature of the Bank is to be its mission- based approach to investment. This means Scottish Ministers identifying a set of medium term outcomes and a focus for the Bank’s investment strategy.

Core to this will be the alignment of the Bank’s plans with the wider economic strategy and priorities which have been identified and set by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government will further refine its expectations of the bank, and the missions set for it, through consultation with stakeholders. Following consultation a Bill will be brought forward in 2019 to establish and capitalise the Bank. 

The Board discussed the proposals asking whether there is potential for SNIB to act to stimulate further international investment and how the bank will support wider aims of inclusive growth and low carbon, renewables and climate change targets.

[First Minister arrives] 

First Minister Visit to China

First Minister again welcomed members and provided an update on her successful visit to China last month where she undertook activity to strengthen the growing business, cultural and educational links between Scotland and China – the world’s second largest economy. 

The visit programme promoted Scotland as a location for inward investment, and sought to strengthen cooperation on areas including university research partnerships, language learning and the flow of students between Scotland and China.

SFE Update 

Philip Grant provided a short update on activity to support the High Level Strategy for Financial Services, with focus now being placed on delivery of the five core work streams.
Graeme Jones provided an update on SFE activity since the last meeting of the Board noting continuing momentum. Recent highlights included the SFE Young Professionals event, with 150 attendees and the Scottish Universities’ Business Challenge held at the University of Edinburgh’s business school in April. 

FinTech Scotland report

Stephen Ingledew provided the board with an overview of activity in the first ‘100 days’ since his appointment as CEO of FinTech Scotland. He welcomed the support he has received from the wider financial services sector and from partners including the university sector, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government. Stephen outlined events and engagement undertaken within Scotland and internationally noting the potential for collaboration.

David Ferguson of Nucleus has agreed to become FinTech Scotland’s first chair and the first meeting of the FinTech Scotland’s Board is expected to take place in June 2018.

FinTech Scotland is agreeing a series ‘Strategic Partnerships’ with announcements expected in weeks following the Board meeting.

Stephen highlighted the support of the FCA for FinTech Scotland’s activities and for the wider sector in Scotland. Maggie Craig noted tha the FCA is working to strengthen the Fintech support offered from its Scottish base. The FCA is already working to develop greater international collaboration through a series of collaboration agreements with overseas regulators. 

Stephen noted that many fintech companies in Scotland combined their business activities with a ‘social purpose’ and that there is the potential for fintech to support significant social impact. 

Stephen set out plans to support the fintech community across Scotland, with development of an online platform to bring together companies operating across Scotland.

Stephen set out a vision of establishment of Scotland as a global centre of excellence on payments drawing on world-class expertise available in Scotland. 

Damian Yeates provided an update on Skills Development Scotland’s activity in support of the sector, particularly an increase in foundation apprenticeships and work to support skills development in data analytics.

First Minister welcomed progress, noting that activity to date has surpassed expectations; she agreed that the social impact of fintech could be hugely important.

ScotlandFS Prospectus

Colin Macleay provided an update on development of a financial services prospectus. The prospectus offers an inclusive introduction to Scotland, with full support of Scottish Government, SDI, SDS, SFE and UK government.

Through development of this prospectus, the financial services sector is the first sector to have fully developed materials consistent with the recently launched Scotland is Now campaign and brand.

The prospectus will be finalised and user feedback will be sought before a high profile launch in July. 

Sharon Hamilton described the positive collaborative approach used to develop the prospectus. She described the draft prospectus as ‘powerful’ and noted that it is a master resource that can be the material can be adapted for presentation to different audiences.

Commitment from SFE members has been very important in the development of the prospectus and will be essential in ensuring that case studies and data remain up to date and relevant.

First Minister welcomed the development of the prospectus noting the high quality of the materials produced.

AOB/conclusions and actions 

Damien Yeates provided a short update on Skills Development Scotland’s work underway to establish future skills and talent requirements in the financial services sector noting that 30 companies from the sector have already agreed to be interviewed to establish future skills and talent needs. 

Mr Wheelhouse asks for consideration to be given on how best to support communities and businesses in accessing cash and on increasing availability of and confidence in contactless and card-based transactions. Philip Grant agreed that there is much more the industry can do in terms of education on payment options open to both businesses and consumers.

First Minister closed the meeting noting the continued high quality of the board’s discussions and the sustained pace of activity.

Secretariat will confirm the date for the next meeting, expected to be in September 2018. 



Telephone: 0300 244 1196

Post: Scottish Government
Financial Services and SME Finance Policy Team
Innovation, Investment & Industries Division
Directorate for Economic Development
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150 Broomielaw
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