The Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) is facing questions about the lawfulness of its operations after it emerged that Scottish ministers have not established an advisory board for the Bank, contrary to their legal obligations.
Under Section 29 of the Scottish National Investment Bank Act 2020 passed by Holyrood, “the Scottish Ministers must establish and maintain an advisory board to provide [the SNIB] with advice on the Bank’s objects, conduct, and performance.” However, almost three years on, this advisory board has not been established.
A Scottish Government spokesperson refused to say why the board has not yet been established and what bearing this has on the legality of the Bank’s activities. However, they told Disruption Banking that “the Scottish National Investment Bank Act 2020 committed ministers to the establishment of an advisory group. Now that the Bank is fully operational, work is underway to meet this commitment.” No details were given as to what this work consists of.
A spokesperson for the SNIB claimed that the SNIB is “legally constituted as a PLC and operates independently from the Scottish Government.”
“Establishing an advisory group is a matter for Scottish Ministers. The Scottish National Investment Bank maintains operational independence from the Scottish Government and operates under the direction of its own Board of Directors,” they added.
Last week Disruption Banking revealed that the SNIB has invested in three companies with close links to the Scottish Government.
Author: Harry Clynch