You’ll remember the trillions Gordon Brown gave to the big UK banks and his expectation that they would use at least some of that to lend to new and growing businesses. They didn’t. They stashed it away to make their accounts look good and, of course, gave themselves bonuses. Announcing the commitment to a Scottish National Investment Bank, the First Minister neatly summed up the rationale for having one:
‘A significant constraint faced by many businesses with growth potential is access to long term, patient capital. I can therefore announce today that we will begin work to establish a Scottish National Investment Bank.’
In other words, if RBS and the others won’t help us grow the economy, we’ll have to do it ourselves. This is an already established idea in many European countries:
‘The Council of Economic Advisers has highlighted the important role National Investment Banks play in providing long term investment to support economic growth in many European countries.’
When Jeremy Corbyn suggested UK have one in 2016 it was shot down as a crackpot leftist idea. Of course, Germany has the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau. I think they know a thing or two about running an economy.