On 27 February 2019, a Bill to support the establishment and capitalisation of the Scottish National Investment Bank was introduced to the Scottish Parliament and 28 February 2019 the Bill and associated documents have been published on the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government websites.
The Bill places a duty on Scottish Ministers to establish the Scottish National Investment Bank as a public limited company and gives them the necessary powers to capitalise the Bank. Ministers will also be given the power to set the strategic direction of the Bank by the setting of missions that will address socio-economic challenges.
The Bank will provide financing for businesses through their whole lifecycle and finance important infrastructure projects to catalyse private sector investment. The Bank will be operational in 2020.
The Scottish Government has committed to investing £2 billion over 10 years to capitalise the Bank. This is ambitious and achievable and will help create a step change in the Scottish economy.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay said:
“The introduction of the 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, through 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.”
To publicise the Bill’s introduction, Mr Mackay visited the ID Co in Edinburgh. Its Founder and CEO, James Varga said:
“One of the biggest challenges of a start-up is access to the right finance at the right time. This is not only the initial seed capital but increasingly important as the Scottish ecosystem develops is the access to growth capital. The Scottish National Investment Bank will be an important source of such capital.
“The Scottish fintech and companies such as ours are prime examples of those types of businesses that are working hard to make a difference.”
Strategic Adviser to the First Minister on establishing the Bank, Benny 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.”
Founder/Director of University College London’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, Professor Mariana Mazzucato said:
“The Scottish Government has bold ambitions for achieving a dynamic, inclusive and low-carbon economy. By making strategic investments and nurturing new firms and technologies, the new mission-oriented Scottish National Investment Bank will become a key institution in Scotland’s economic landscape.
“We are thrilled at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose to have played a key role in developing proposals for the Bank particularly around mission-oriented finance. The Bill introduced to parliament today represents an important step towards realising Scotland’s economic potential.”
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.”