Higgins to drive forward Scots Investment Bank

Benny Higgins

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has appointed former Tesco Bank CEO Benny Higgins as the strategic adviser for the establishment of the Scottish National Investment Bank.

Higgins — also a former top executive at RBS, HBOS and Standard Life — developed an implementation plan for the bank and the Scottish Government has accepted all 21 of his report’s recommendations.

His new role will build on this work.

As strategic adviser, Higgins will play the leading role in the development of the bank, providing advice to and working with the First Minister and other ministers, and building support for the bank among civic and business organisations.

The Scottish National Investment Bank will take on a “mission driven” approach to provide finance and “catalyse the investment required to achieve a step change in inclusive growth for the Scottish economy” and will be supported by long-term capitalisation of at least £2 billion over the first ten years.

Higgins’ appointment will start in late July and will end in early 2020.

Sturgeon said: “Benny Higgins appointment to drive forward the work on the Scottish National Investment Bank will see him build on the invaluable work he did to develop the implementation plan for the Bank, recognising the unique skills and insights he will bring to the delivery programme.

“Benny brings the extensive financial sector experience this project requires combined with a clear commitment to deliver a mission-driven investment bank that can help transform our economy.

“An early priority will be to bring together stakeholders from across the public and private sectors to inform the final proposals that will be included in legislation to establish Scotland’s National Investment Bank.

“The bank is a hugely exciting development for Scotland and I look forward to working with Benny Higgins to establish it as the cornerstone financial institution in Scotland’s economic architecture, promoting and providing finance to help achieve our economic ambitions.”

Higgins said: “The creation of The Scottish National Investment Bank will be an essential element to underpin the future economic well-being of our country.

“Hard yards lie ahead, but I relish the challenge that the First Minister has set us.

“We will build an institution that is fit for purpose and, in particular, one that has the right values.”