Publication - FOI/EIR release

Government loans provided to businesses in years 2009 to 2018: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
17 Dec 2018
Government loans provided to businesses in years 2009 to 2018: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/03330, 03331, 03333-03340  
Date received: 12 November 2018  
Date responded: 12 December 2018
 
Information requested
 
You asked for details of loans the Scottish government has provided to businesses in 2009-2018, specifically:
 
  • Can you tell me how many loans of more than £1 million the Scottish government has provided to businesses in 2009-2018?
  • Can you tell me how many loans of more than £5 million the Scottish government has provided to businesses in 2009-2018? 
  • Can you tell me how many loans of more than £10 million the Scottish government has provided to businesses in 2009-2018?
  • Can you tell me the highest value single loan to a business made by the Scottish government in 2009-2018?
  • How many of these loans have not been put into the public doman because of commercial confidentiality?
 
Response
 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2009-10 (1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010). Within this period the Scottish Government did not make any loans of more than £1 million to businesses.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £0.45m.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2010-11 (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011). Within this period the Scottish Government did not make any loans of more than £1 million to businesses.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £0.40m.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2011-12 (1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012). Within this period the Scottish Government did not make any loans of more than £1 million to businesses.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £0.30m.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2012-13 (1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013). Within this period the Scottish Government did not make any loans of more than £1 million to businesses.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £0.5m.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2013-14 (1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014). Within this period the Scottish Government did not make any loans of more than £1 million to businesses.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £0.7m.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2014-15 (1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015). Within this period the Scottish Government made two loans of more than £1 million to businesses. No loans of more than £5 million were made to businesses.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £1.4m.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2015-16 (1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016). Within this period the Scottish Government made 2 loans of more than £1 million to businesses and less than £5 million, no loans of more than £5 million and less than £10 million and one loan of more than £10 million.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £48 million.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2016-17 (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017). Within this period the Scottish Government made one loan of more than £1 million and less than £5 million to businesses and one loan of more than £5 million.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £7.9m.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2017-18 (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018). Within this period the Scottish Government made four loans of more than £1 million and less than £5 million to businesses, three loans of more than £5 million and less than £10 million and 2 loans of more than £10 million.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £19m.

 

The data collected for this response relates to the financial year 2018-19 (1 April 2018 to 30 November 2018). Within this period the Scottish Government made 2 loans of more than £1 million and less than £5 million and 2 loans of more than £10 million.

The highest value loan provided to a business by the Scottish Government in this period was £17m.

 

In respect of your last question, the Scottish Government does not routinely publish details of individual recipients of loans. There is no requirement to inform Parliament, however Ministers may choose to do so depending on the individual circumstances surrounding each transaction.

Scottish Ministers possess specific and general powers to lend money out of resources which are authorised by the Parliament in the annual Budget Act and its subsequent revisions.

Lending by Scottish Ministers is governed by a series of internal controls, that are designed to ensure that the public purse is protected. These include the following:

 

  • A clear policy case for Government intervention must be established – any such case will be subject to scrutiny from a range of senior officials including a lead Policy Director, Finance, Legal and State Aid;
  • Typically appraisal of options (including the ‘do nothing’ option) and risk analysis is undertaken at an early stage to assess the relative advantages of several alternatives to achieve the Government’s policy objectives;  
  • Proportionate due diligence will be undertaken to assess the borrower's financial standing and ability to repay. Often this work is evidenced and supported by independent diligence carried out by external professional advisors (e.g. one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms);
  • In instances where the recipient of a loan is covered by EC state aid regulations the terms of the loan (for example, the rate of interest) must be aligned with reference to the rules and set on a commercial basis;
  • Lending proposals will be considered in terms of regularity, propriety and value for money by the relevant Accountable Officer and other key officials before the approval of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work is sought.  The Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 requires of Accountable Officers the need to demonstrate the economic, efficient and effective use of all the finances under their stewardship;
  • The Scottish Government’s Directorate for Legal Services (solicitors to the Scottish Government) will be asked to identify the underlying legislative powers with which to commit the proposed expenditure.  If the matter is novel or contentious in terms if vires the opinion of the Lord Advocate may be sought;   
  • Review of lending and other investments is part of Audit Scotland’s scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s annual accounts. Audit Scotland have access to all relevant documentation relating to any transactions that the Scottish Government may enter into and may report to Parliament where they feel standards have not been adhered to.
 
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 

The Scottish Government 
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