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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

First Minister launches Scottish National Investment Bank

The Scottish National Investment Bank has officially opened for business with the completion of its first major investment today.

It is the UK’s first mission-led development bank and it is being capitalised by the SNP Government with £2 billion over ten years.

The bank’s proposed missions will focus on supporting Scotland’s transition to net zero, extending equality of opportunity through improving places, and harnessing innovation to enable the nation to flourish.

It will provide patient capital – a form of long term investment – for businesses and projects in Scotland, and catalyse further private sector investment.

Today’s £12.5 million investment in Glasgow-based laser and quantum technology company M Squared will support the company’s further growth in Scotland and speaks to the bank’s proposed core missions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The Scottish National Investment Bank will help to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face now and in the years to come, delivering economic, social and environmental returns.

“It is hitting the ground running with its first major investment in M Squared – a great example of the ambitious and innovative companies we have here in Scotland that will be key to our economic recovery and future prosperity.

“The launch of the bank is one of the most significant developments in the lifetime of this parliament, with the potential for it to transform, grow and decarbonise Scotland’s economy.”

Scottish National Investment Bank Chair Willie Watt (pictured) said:

“Today is a key milestone for the Scottish National Investment Bank. Our launch enables us to make mission-led, strategic, patient investments in businesses and projects that can deliver benefits for the people of Scotland. I am excited about the role the Bank will play in supporting and enabling growth in the Scottish economy.

“We are particularly pleased that our first investment is in M Squared which is at the cutting edge of innovation and is a recognised world-leader in its field. It is our firm belief that the bank will make many more investments that deliver positive mission impacts in the years and decades to come.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:

“I am pleased that, in line with the SNP Holyrood Manifesto, the Scottish National Investment Bank is now up and running.

“Strategic Advisor Benny Higgins and his team of experts have worked extremely hard and lent invaluable expertise to implement this commitment and set up the bank.

“With the challenges we face due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a damaging Brexit, it is more important than ever that we are able to invest in Scotland’s businesses to help realise opportunities and create a resilient economy.”

The Scottish National Investment Bank has now been formally established as a public limited company. State Aid approval for the establishment and capitalisation of the bank was received from the European Commission in November 2020.

The proposed missions focus the bank’s activities on addressing key challenges and creating inclusive, long-term economic growth.

The bank’s Chief Executive Eilidh Mactaggart (pictured) was appointed in April 2020 and its non-executive directors are: Tracey Ashworth-Davies, Carolyn Jameson, Peter Knott, Jason McGibbon, Nicholas Moon, Candida Morley, Dr Jacqueline Redmond and Sir Jonathan Taylor.

The Scottish Government recently consulted publicly on the proposed missions for the Scottish National Investment Bank. That consultation was welcomed by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee, and found clear support for the proposed missions. The final missions will be set by Scottish Ministers shortly.



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