Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has said that the new Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) must be a “local bank” and deliver for all the regions of Scotland including the Highlands and Islands, and not just the Central Belt.
Mr Halcro Johnston, the Scottish Conservative Shadow Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise made his comments earlier today during a Scottish Government debate on the first year of the new bank.
Speaking later he said: “It is very important that SNIB delivers support for businesses across the whole country and that must include rural regions like mine, which have different needs from the Central Belt, and have a greater dependence on small businesses. In particular, I want to see more evidence of SNIB working in partnership with regional agencies such as Highlands and Islands Enterprise which have a track record of delivering locally and an understanding of what is required."
“Judging by its investment portfolio, SNIB still has a long way to go before it can really be termed a truly national bank serving all of Scotland. We want to see the bank succeed but, until we see benefits spread across the country, including the Highlands and Islands, then we must reserve judgement on its performance.”
Jamie Halcro Johnston’s contribution to the debate can be viewed here at 15:44:22 at https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/meeting-of-the-parliament-bsl-november-16-2021