Debut of new forum aimed at harnessing Scot finance sector to help boost recovery

A new forum has been launched to help Scotland’s financial services sector tackle key challenges facing the nation including stalling economic growth.

The Financial Services Growth and Development Board, which will have its first meeting today, will look to strengthen links with the Scottish Government to maximise the potential of the sector that employs around 160,000 people in Scotland and is the biggest contributor to its economy.

Sandy Begbie, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), said the launch of the board comes at a critical time given that Scotland faces significant hurdles with economic growth faltering and a cost-of-living crisis affecting households across the country.

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“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,” he said.

SFE's Sandy Begbie said the new forum will help the sector make the most of its potential to aid Scotland's recovery. Picture: Graham Flack.
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and SFE chair Phillip Grant will co-chair the forum, which replaces the outgoing Financial Services Advisory Board as the main platform for discussion between the Scottish Government and industry-leaders in the financial and professional services sector.

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Ms Sturgeon said it was important to work together to “build a recovery for everyone which delivers greater, greener and fairer prosperity”.

She added: “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.”

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Members of the forum include Stephen Bird of Abrdn and Maggie Craig of the Financial Conduct Authority.

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