Scottish Investment Bank beefed up with £21.5 million

Scottish Investment BankGreater help is to be offered to small and medium-sized businesses in Scotland, with plans to expand the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB).

The move follows the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government commitment to create a Business Development Bank (BDB) to address the gaps in the market for finance for SMEs, and will see an allocation of £21.5 million made available in Financial Transactions funds.

Scottish Enterprise have been asked to prepare a plan for creating the Business Development Bank services by expanding the remit of SIB and they will report before the end of the Parliamentary session next month.

Deputy first minister John Swinney said: “Small business is the engine of our economy and it is a national responsibility to try to provide an even playing field to help them grow.

“The priority for Scottish businesses is to ensure we offer as wide a range of help as possible, with targeted approaches to expand access to finance.

“I believe the best approach to creating the Scottish Business Development Bank is to enhance the remit of the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) and for Scottish Enterprise to offer a wider range of business investment approaches, addressing some of the marketplace gaps to improve the supply of funding.”

He added: “Additional activity could include providing support to a broader number and range of businesses, offering and enabling loans, and potentially guarantees, alongside equity products, and providing an enhanced financial readiness service.

“I am pleased that, despite a tough financial settlement, I have been able to use the draft budget to allocate £21.5m of Financial Transactions funding to Scottish Enterprise in 2016-17 to help in developing the SIB to meet its new objectives. Scottish Enterprise have committed to reporting back with initial plans before Parliament dissolves next month.”

Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, Dr Lena Wilson said: “Building on Scottish Enterprise’s strong track record of delivering innovative interventions, such as the Scottish Co-Investment Funds and the Scottish Loan Fund, we will focus on a response which addresses both supply and demand issues relating to increasing the available funding options and helping companies to successfully raise funding.

“This will include improving the accessibility of information on the sources of available finance and increasing the diversity of funding options available to SMEs.

“The establishment of the Business Development Bank will augment the offering available to companies right across Scotland and we look forward to working with both public sector bodies and private sector providers to deliver this ambition.”

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