National Investment Bank plc legislation published

Benny Higgins

Legislation to support the establishment and capitalisation of the Scottish National Investment Bank has been published by the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Government has committed to investing £2 billion over 10 years to capitalise the bank.

The bank will be a public limited company and ministers will be given the power “to guide its strategic direction by setting missions that will address socio-economic challenges.”

Benny Higgins, ex-chief executive officer of Tesco Bank and formerly a leading executive at RBS, HBOS and Standard Life, is the strategic adviser to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the Scottish National Investment Bank.

The bank will be operational in 2020 investing in businesses and communities across Scotland.

The Bill grants the necessary powers to set up the bank which will provide financing for businesses through their whole life cycle and for important infrastructure projects.

The Scottish Government said: “Brexit, and particularly a no deal Brexit, will increase demand for a Scottish National Investment Bank to provide essential support to continue to grow Scotland’s economy throughout a challenging period.”

Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Today’s Bill marks a significant step towards the establishment of the Scottish National Investment Bank.

“The Bank will become a cornerstone in Scotland’s economic architecture supporting businesses across all stages of the business growth lifecycle, in addition to financing infrastructure to secure private sector investment.

“These steps will ensure we are delivering for the economy of today and ready to seize the opportunities of the future.

“With record low unemployment and further economic growth, we will continue to do all we can to stimulate the economy.”

Higgins said: “Today we mark another important milestone on the path to the creation of the Scottish National Investment Bank. 

“The Bank will play a critical role in ensuring that the Scottish economy is structurally fit for thriving in the 21st century. 

“To do so effectively, it is essential that the Bank pursues close collaboration with the enterprise agencies and other parties that contribute to the well-being of the Scottish economy.”

Director of CBI Scotland Tracy Black said: “The introduction of the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) Bill is welcome news for the Scottish business community.

“If used effectively, the SNIB could have a transformative impact by encouraging the greater patient capital investment needed to support infrastructure development in the long-term and catalyse private sector investment.”B