Big business throws weight behind city’s green bank bid

Mike Crockart MP is a big supporter of the bid. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Mike Crockart MP is a big supporter of the bid. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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TOP businesses today threw their weight behind Edinburgh’s bid for the new UK Green Investment Bank as the race to host the institution entered its final stage.

In a show of unity, the leaders of Scotland’s other five cities also gave their support to the Capital’s case, arguing it would have a positive knock-on effect across the country.

Around 20 UK cities were today expected to put in their business cases for hosting the bank as the deadline for submissions expired. A decision is expected next month.

A group of leading international fund managers sent a joint letter to Business Secretary Vince Cable and his officials, urging them to make Edinburgh the home of the new bank, which will provide finance and attract private investment for green projects which are too risky to find funding through the market.

Chief executives from Standard Life, Baillie Gifford, Kames Capital, Artemis Investment, Martin Currie and Aberdeen Asset Management said their businesses had thrived in the Capital “because of the city’s capacity to attract and retain people with high levels of investment and experience”.

Edinburgh’s business case has been developed by the Edinburgh Green Investment Bank Group – a partnership of public and private sector organisations including Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), the city council, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Scottish Enterprise, Grant Thornton, PWC and city MPs Mike Crockart and Mark Lazarowicz.

They point out that Edinburgh is already the location of choice of global firms in financial and professional services and the new bank will be able to draw on a talent pool of 60,000 financial services employees in the city’s travel-to-work area.

They also say Edinburgh has an impressive track record of mobilising and managing significant levels of finance from global markets, which will be critical to the Green Investment Bank’s long-term success.

SFE chief executive Owen Kelly said: “The response we’ve had to our plans has been overwhelmingly positive and there is real consensus that bringing the Green Investment Bank could be a game-changer in accelerating the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies both in Scotland and across the UK.”

Council leader Jenny Dawe said: “Edinburgh’s reputation, skills base and international reach can help distinguish the new bank and what it aims to achieve for the whole of the UK.”