finance

New financial services forum aims for collaboration between government and industry



A new financial services body has been established to help generate greater collaboration between the Scottish Government and industry.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Financial Enterprise chair, Phillip Grant will co-chair the forum, which hopes to ensure the role of financial and related professional services help accelerate economic recovery.

The Financial Services Growth and Development Board will have its first meeting today and will replace the outgoing Financial Services Advisory Board as the main forum for discussion between the Scottish Government and industry leaders.

The financial and professional services sector is one of the biggest sectoral employers to Scotland’s economy, at 9.2 % Gross Value Added (GVA) and employs around 160,000 people directly.

The industry’s contribution to the board will be led by Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), the industry body for financial and related professional services in Scotland, with representatives from each of the sectors across the entire industry.

The reshaped forum will have a focus on advising Scottish Ministers on areas of priority relating to the financial industry and align closely with SFE’s five-year strategy published last year, which identified four key priorities:

  • Leading the journey to net zero – inspiring global leadership in green finance and supporting the Scottish economy to achieve net zero.
  • Supporting economic recovery – facilitating the immediate and sustainable recovery of the Scottish economy following the pandemic.
  • Responding to changing customer needs – delivering the innovative and inclusive products and services that meet the evolving needs of all customers.
  • Developing skills and inclusion – enabling financial services firms to recruit, develop and retain diverse skills within the industry.

The board will focus on outcomes to ensure the government and industry collaborates in order to contribute towards the economic growth of Scotland.

Sturgeon said: “Financial and related professional services will play a key role in this process, from supporting businesses and households through economic recovery to facilitating the investment that will underpin a just transition to net zero.”

Grant said: “SFE and the financial and related professional services industry is focussed on having a meaningful and positive impact at local level and we want to ensure that our strategy helps to deliver real benefits to all people in households and businesses across Scotland, with no-one left behind.

“This is a vision that aligns closely with the priorities of the Scottish government so we welcome this new channel for regular dialogue, which will amplify our voice and enable us to better collaborate where there is common ground and challenge where there is disagreement.”

Begbie added: “Financial and related professional services have a central role to play in helping to mitigate these challenges and create new opportunities for growth and development, and I’m confident that if we do, Scotland has all ingredients to thrive in 2022 and beyond.”

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