More work required to showcase key role of Scots financial sector - SFE

Work is still needed to convey the role of Scotland’s financial sector in fuelling the economy, while Holyrood and Westminster should collaborate to help catalyse economic recovery, according to a new survey from Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE).

The study was conducted for the trade body by Survation on behalf of True North, an Aberdeen-headquartered strategic advisory firm, and between August 5 and 9 surveyed more than 1,000 residents of Scotland aged over 16.

It asked them to what extent they were aware of the contribution that the financial and professional services sector makes to Scotland’s economy, with 39 per cent saying they were “not that aware”, while 35 per cent said they were “quite aware”, in what True North – a joint venture by managing partners and former SNP spin doctors Geoff Aberdein and Fergus Mutch – deemed a “mixed picture”.

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However, the survey also pointed out that financial and professional services sector comprise 9.2 per cent of Scotland’s gross value added, making it one of the biggest contributions to the economy north of the Border. Those surveyed were told this, and 80 per cent said they deemed the sector important.

In terms of sectors viewed as key to accelerating Scotland’s economy in coming years, hospitality and tourism came top at 71 per cent, but financial and professional services only ranked fourth out of five at 41 per cent.

Separately, nearly two thirds said they believe the Scottish and UK governments should collaborate to invest in and deliver major infrastructure projects to help the economy gain momentum.

SFE chief executive Sandy Begbie said: “Last year SFE launched its five-year strategy establishing a range of proposals to drive collaboration across the industry and with both the Scottish and UK governments. I therefore welcome this poll as it endorses our approach.

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'There remains work to do in order to articulate our role in supporting the growth of other sectors,' says SFE boss Sandy Begbie. Picture: contributed.

“It is hugely encouraging the vast majority of people consider our industry as important to the future success of Scotland’s economy, but there remains work to do in order to articulate our role in supporting the growth of other sectors.

“There is also a clear appetite amongst the public for both the Scottish and UK governments to work more closely to help businesses and communities as part of wider economic recovery efforts, which is something SFE has consistently called for since the onset of the pandemic.”

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