The Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) has revealed that the Bank has made just a 2% return on its £460 million worth of taxpayer-funded investments. With commercial banks now offering savings rates of 5% or more, this means the SNIB would have achieved stronger returns by simply leaving the cash in a bank account.
Appearing before a Scottish Parliament Committee yesterday, the SNIB’s CEO, Al Denholm, told MSPs that the Bank has only seen returns of £10 million on the £460 million in public money that has been invested so far. Putting £460 million in a bank account with a 5% saving rate would return £23 million after a year.
Disruption Banking has previously raised questions about the investment decisions made by the SNIB. For one, the SNIB decided to invest £7.5 million in taxpayers’ money in a loss-making firm that had not filed company accounts for two years – which was also run by an employee’s brother.
Disruption Banking also revealed correspondence showing that a senior SNIB executive condemning the Bank’s risk management committees as “terrible,” suggesting the SNIB may not have the proper structures in place to invest taxpayers’ money safely. The SNIB has also failed to establish an advisory board to oversee the Bank’s operations, contrary to its legal obligations.
After a string of high-profile failed investments – such as the £9 million loss on Circularity Scotland – the SNIB is likely to come under further pressure to explain precisely how it plans to provide taxpayers with value for money.
Author: Harry Clynch