MSPs call for formal role in direction of Scottish National Investment Bank

04.07.2019

The creation of a Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) has been backed unanimously by MSPs on the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee who have called for a formal role when it comes to setting the long-term focus of the Bank’s work.

While approving the general principles of the Bill at Stage One, the Committee have pointed out several areas that need more detail in a report published today. Issues such as the role of an Advisory Group, stimulating demand and the role of MSPs when it comes to setting the missions of the Bank.

Despite the Cabinet Secretary stating it wasn’t necessary, the Committee heard evidence which highlighted concerns that without formal Parliament approval, the missions of the Bank could be downgraded in importance. The Committee therefore concluded that the Scottish Parliament should have a formal role in setting the long-term focus of the Bank’s work.

Committee Convener, Gordon Lindhurst MSP said:

“From the array of evidence we heard the Scottish National Investment Bank has the potential to be a positive and integral part of the Scottish Economy.

“However, there are areas covered by the Bill and accompanying documents on which further work is required to ensure that the Bank’s full potential is achieved.”

Mr Lindhurst added:

“The Committee considers that there is a crucial and formal role that MSPs should continue to play in the development of the Bank. Similar processes exist in other pieces of comparable legislation and would be entirely appropriate here.

“In coming to this conclusion the Committee recognised the vital role the Bank will play in fundamental policy matters such as social housing, climate change or the care system, to name but a few.” 

Background

The published report can be found here.

- The Scottish National Investment Bank Bill set out to place a duty on the Scottish Ministers to establish the Scottish National Investment Bank as a public limited company and gives Scottish Ministers the necessary powers to capitalise the Bank. Scottish Ministers have also been given the power to set the strategic direction of the bank.
- The Policy Memorandum attached to the Bill stated - “While the Bank will be operationally and administratively independent, the Scottish Ministers, as the Bank’s sole shareholder and sponsor will set the parameters within which the Bank should work. Scottish Ministers will also set the direction for the Bank’s investment through its strategic missions.”

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