Scottish Financial Enterprise calls for joined-up thinking in four-point election manifesto

Scottish finance industry leaders have set out a four-point election manifesto to help drive a “fair, inclusive and green recovery”.

Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), the representative body for the financial services industry north of the Border, has launched its first ever election manifesto, calling for increased collaboration between business and the next Scottish government.

SFE said it was firmly committed to working with the next Scottish government, UK government and on a cross-party basis in playing a key role in the economic recovery from the pandemic.

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The organisation’s manifesto – Supporting Economic Recovery Through Collaboration – sets out four key asks of the next Scottish government, including greater collaboration on economic recovery.

Sandy Begbie, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise: 'Next month’s election comes at a crucial moment in the response to the pandemic'

It calls for a dedicated quarterly cross-sector forum of key industry groups, co-chaired by the cabinet secretary for finance and/or economy and the SFE chairperson, focused on developing “clear public policy actions to accelerate Scotland’s economic recovery”.

The SFE is also calling for joined-up action on climate change and collaboration on skills and inclusion. It is looking for a commitment to review Scotland’s apprenticeship system to assess whether it is properly supporting a growing financial services sector.

Industry leaders hope to encourage collaboration between both the Scottish and UK governments to ensure Scotland remains an attractive location for inward investment “in order to cement our position as a leading and internationally recognised financial cluster”.

The proposals have been developed in consultation with SFE’s member organisations, which span the full spectrum of financial and related professional services in Scotland.

Sandy Begbie, chief executive of SFE, said: “At a time when public finances are stretched and the economy is in sharp focus, the public and private sectors must collaborate to ensure we deal with the challenges ahead and rebuild our economy.

“The focus of each political party in this election campaign has rightly been on how we rebuild our economy after the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people and businesses across the country.

“Next month’s election comes at a crucial moment in the response to the pandemic and SFE is firmly committed to working with the next Scottish government, UK government and parties across the political spectrum to help Scotland achieve a fair, inclusive and green recovery.”

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