Like so many SNP Scottish government initiatives, it was launched to great fanfare but has made questionable progress since. Established in November 2020 as an investment vehicle for delivering long-term, ‘patient capital’ to Scottish businesses, the creation of the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) was described by Nicola Sturgeon as ‘one of the most significant developments in the lifetime of this parliament.’

The ‘mission-led development bank’ is being funded by the Scottish government to the tune of £2 billion over ten years. However, a new report from the St Andrews university academic professor Ross Brown, published by the think-tank Reform Scotland, suggests the institution will fail to have any significant impact on Scotland’s economy if its fundamental remit and aims are not re-assessed.

Brown’s paper argues the bank has no clear set of missions to coalesce around. The original blueprint for the institution discussed the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals but stated that they were ‘too broad to be actionable’. It also referred vaguely to the 81 economic, social and environmental performance indicators adopted by the Scottish government under its National Performance Framework.

See how Scotland benefits from being part of the UK – Unity Matters


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