Scottish National Investment Bank Bill: equality impact assessment

How Scottish National Investment Bank's ethical approach will be developed.

Monitoring And Review

79. This EQIA will be reviewed and subject to update throughout 2019. The findings of the completed EQIA will support the establishment of the Bank in 2020 and the Bank’s development of its Investment Strategy and Ethical Statement.

80. The performance of the Bank against its Investment Strategy and Ethical Statement will also be reviewed. Section 13 of the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill provides that the Bank will be required to report annually to Scottish Ministers on the performance of its investments, and gives Scottish Ministers a power to specify what information it requires from the Bank in this regard and how it is provided.

81. The information required by Scottish Ministers will be set out in the draft Strategic Framework and will include performance against the Bank’s Ethical Statement and the social returns on the Bank’s investments.

82. Section 14 of the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill also provides that the Scottish Ministers be required, at least every five years, to appoint a suitable person or body to review and prepare a report on the Bank’s performance. The report will be published and a copy laid before Parliament. The findings of that report should be considered in any updates to the Bank’s Strategic Framework, to be made at least every five years, and the Bank’s subsequent update of its Investment Strategy and Ethical Statement.

83. It has been widely recognised amongst stakeholders that the Bank should report on the social benefits it delivers, in order that the full spectrum of its activities should be represented and considered. The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee of the Scottish Parliament, in its report on Scotland’s Economic Performance, published on 21 June 2018 recommended that: “budget for assessment and evaluation is built in to the SNIB from the outset, and that all investment decisions should be subject to equality impact assessments, and any other appropriate assessments.”[32] It is essential that the impact of the Bank is properly evaluated and consideration of its social impact will be a key component of that.

84. Further, the Bank should record information about the recipients of its finance to enable comparison of access to finance across the protected characteristics (as appropriate), socio-economic status and geographic location. This information should include unsuccessful applications for finance. It is recognised that it will not always be within the gift of the Bank to address systemic issues – the coordination of efforts across the public sector investment landscape will be crucial as set out above – but the information it collects can helpfully illustrate broader issues for consideration as well as enabling evaluation of its own performance.

85. How the Bank will deliver on the commitments set out here, and meet the legal duties to which it will be subject, will be set out in the Bank’s Investment Strategy and Ethical Statement, which it will be responsible for developing, and in the Strategic Framework. The development of those documents will be informed by parliamentary and stakeholder engagement to take place over 2019 and until the establishment of the Bank in 2020.

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