Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill: business and regulatory impact assessment

This business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) considers the impact of the Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill.

Scottish Firms Impact Test

We think that those working in law and financial investment firms are the most likely to feel the immediate impact of the reforms in the Bill. As already noted above, the SLC have had extensive consultation with such stakeholders throughout the lifetime of its project and as such we feel that additional face-to-face discussions with those affected would be disproportionate and would yield no new views from business. On a wider scale, it is anticipated that the Bill will bring benefits to all parties who wish to create a trust or who are trustees or beneficiaries of a trust, whether members of the public and businesses – as opposed to one particular sector, market, or industry. Trusts in the commercial context, we anticipate, will enjoy important benefits from the passage of the Bill, but this is not to the exclusion of any other sector. Further, it is not anticipated that the proposals will have any significant cost implications for any markets or industries. On the contrary, the Bill will bring substantial benefits.

In terms of the Bill's overall impact on the economy, the SLC and the Scottish Government have received only positive comments.

Competition Assessment

It is not anticipated that the Bill will have an impact on competition within Scotland. The proposals within the Bill do not create a competitive advantage for any particular business or individual within the trust industry; they simply offer prospective and equal benefits for businesses and individuals alike.

The Bill will not result in any restrictions on competition in the trust industry. The number and range of suppliers will not be affected, nor will it affect the incentive or ability of trust-related professionals to compete vigorously.

Consumer Assessment

In general, the Bill, if passed by the Scottish Parliament, will likely have a positive impact on consumers. As outlined above under 'Scottish Firms Impact Test', it is anticipated that the Bill will bring benefits to all parties who wish to create a trust or who are trustees or beneficiaries of a trust, whether members of the public or businesses.

The proposed changes will greatly assist the accessibility of the law to those who use it, both solicitors and others. This will bring a reduction in costs, and will reduce the need for litigation or complex legal advice by eliminating uncertainties in the law.

In addition, it must be borne in mind that trusts are used as a means to an end rather than an end in themselves. If the Scottish trust is subject to modern legislation, it is likely to become more attractive to those who may be considering the use of a trust.

Test run of business forms

The Bill prescribes no business forms. There is, accordingly, no requirement to carry out a test run.

Digital Impact Test

We do not consider that the Bill will give rise to any immediate or direct impact on technology or technological advances.

Legal Aid Impact Test

The Scottish Government Access to Justice team are content that the Bill will not adversely affect the legal aid scheme nor the legal aid fund.

Enforcement, sanctions and monitoring

The Bill does not require public enforcement and imposes no sanctions. Any disputes concerning the rules in the Bill will be resolved by means of litigation by the affected parties.



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