The Scottish National Investment Bank has the potential to be a positive and integral part of the economy, MSPs have said.
Plans to establish the bank were announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in September 2017, with legislation for its creation brought forward at the Scottish Parliament in February this year.
One of the key aims of the bank will be to help Scots businesses borrow money over a longer term of 10 to 15 years – something which is currently often difficult to get agreed with lenders.
The bank is expected to be up and running by 2020, with the Scottish Government having committed £2 billion over 10 years to capitalise it.
In a report published on Thursday, MSPs on Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee unanimously backed the creation of the bank.
However, whilst approving the general principles of the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill, the committee called for a formal role when it comes to setting the long-term focus of the bank’s work.
Committee convener Gordon Lindhurst said: “From the array of evidence we heard, the Scottish National Investment Bank has the potential to be a positive and integral part of the Scottish economy.
“However, there are areas covered by the Bill and accompanying documents on which further work is required to ensure that the bank’s full potential is achieved.
“The committee considers that there is a crucial and formal role that MSPs should continue to play in the development of the bank. Similar processes exist in other pieces of comparable legislation and would be entirely appropriate here.
“In coming to this conclusion, the committee recognised the vital role the bank will play in fundamental policy matters such as social housing, climate change or the care system, to name but a few.”