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Scottish National Investment Bank: consultation paper

This consultation paper will focus on the Bank’s objectives, purpose and governance, as well as its relationship with Ministers and stakeholders.


2. The Implementation Plan Report

"The plans for the Bank must be bold, ambitious and based on financial innovation and market leadership"

2.1 The Implementation Plan's approach, and its 21 recommendations (provided in Annex A for information), were subject to a debate in the Scottish Parliament on 8 May. Keith Brown MSP, then Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, indicated the Government's acceptance of the recommendations in Mr Higgins' report, and agreed to proceed along the lines set out in the Implementation Plan.

2.2 Proposals and recommendations for establishing the Bank are consistent with the Scottish Government's Economic Strategy. All of the four priorities for supporting sustainable economic growth in the Economic Strategy are relevant to the Bank [2] :

  • investing in people and infrastructure to safeguard Scotland's future;
  • fostering a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and research and development;
  • stimulating inclusive growth through a fair and inclusive jobs market and regional cohesion to provide economic opportunities across all of Scotland; and
  • promoting Scotland's international trade, investment, influence and networks.

2.3 The creation of the Bank is one essential component of the architecture required to support Scotland's economic aspirations. There are many examples of national investment banks around the world, structured to address the challenges faced by the countries who have set up such banks. This Bank will focus on long-term patient capital missions, where a different risk appetite can be utilised to complement private sector investment. The Bank will also seek to serve SMEs who wish to grow their businesses and find the traditional routes to finance challenging.

2.4 The Government's approach to the economy sets the context for the further development of the Bank. In broad terms, the Scottish Government's proposals for the Bank have the following objectives.

Mission-orientated: Scottish Ministers will set the outcomes for the Bank's investment, including setting it 'missions' and performance objectives, in a Strategic Framework document.

Publicly owned: The Bank should be an enduring, cornerstone institution, constituted as a public company limited by shares, with Ministers as the sole initial shareholder. Legislation will be brought forward in 2019 with the aim of having the bank operating in 2020.

Crowding-in investment: The Bank should provide income-generating and repayable debt or equity, with a focus on investment that is not currently being provided by the market, in order to "crowd-in" investment, and shape and create markets.

Commercial: The Bank will operate on a commercial basis at all stages of the investment life-cycle and provide a single point of delivery for financing support for businesses. Its operations will take full advantage of modern digital and FinTech technologies.

Operationally Independent : While priorities for the Bank will be set by Ministers the Investment Strategy will be determined by the Bank. The Bank will have a Board, with the Chair of the Bank and Non-Executive Board Members appointed by Scottish Ministers.

Investing ethically and sustainably: The Bank will provide a leadership role in terms of diversity and inclusion, as well as in ethical and inclusive investment;

Strongly capitalised: The Scottish Government is committed to providing £2 billion over 10 years.

Open and transparent : A Stakeholder Working Group will guide implementation of the Bank and once in operation, wider society interests will inform the strategic direction for the Bank though an Advisory Board.

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