Scots National Investment Bank ‘to reach £2bn’

Benny Higgins

The proposed Scottish National Investment Bank — which will be supported by long-term capitalisation of at least £2 billion over the first ten years — is one step closer following the publication of the implementation plan.

Developed by Benny Higgins, CEO of Tesco Bank, the plan has recommendations covering the remit, governance, operating model and financing of the new bank.

The colourful Higgins, who is retiring from Tesco Bank on February 28 after 10 years, was also a senior executive at RBS, HBoS and Standard Life.

The plan recommends that the bank should:

  • Be publicly-owned and mission-driven, focused on supporting Scotland’s economic priorities and promoting inclusive growth
  • Operate in an ethical and transparent way
  • Cowork to crowd in, not crowd out, private sector investment
  • Be supported by long-term capitalisation of at least £2 billion over the first ten years
  • Become self-sustaining in the longer term, raising its own capital to fund investments
  • Provide long-term, patient finance for both smaller firms and larger projects
  • Create opportunities and new markets for the private sector to invest in

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “To realise our ambitions for Scotland’s economy, innovative companies need access to strategic, patient finance to grow and thrive, while the business environment must encourage our young people to be the entrepreneurs of the future.

“That is why I committed to a publicly-owned national investment bank, which will act as a cornerstone for the economy.

“I thank Benny Higgins and the advisory group for their work to bring this aspiration a step closer.

“The Scottish Government will carefully consider his recommendations, as we move forward with the creation of the Scottish National Investment Bank.”

Higgins said: “There is an incontrovertible case for creating the Scottish National Investment Bank.

“The economic and social wellbeing of our country will be enhanced by an institution that complements private sector investment, with a clear focussing on SMEs and projects that require strategic patient capital.

“We have undertaken rigorous analysis through this process and engaged an extensive and broad group of individuals and bodies in both the public and private sectors.

“There is a strong consensus that there is an immediate and pressing need for the creation of the bank.”