A vision for Scotland’s future with an economy built on sustainable principles - Judith Cruickshank

The past few years have been immensely challenging. From the first Covid lockdown to more recent economic challenges there’s been a seismic shift in our lives.

What hasn’t changed though is the sense of community felt in villages, towns, and cities across the country. As we look towards Scotland’s future, the importance of connection remains, as does our collective entrepreneurial spirit and reputation for leading world class innovation.

Since Royal Bank was first established back in the 1700s, we’ve been a strong believer in the power of Scotland’s people and businesses, and we remain committed to our customers and colleagues across the country. Currently, we support one in three businesses, one in five people, one in seven homebuyers and have the privilege of being one of the nation’s largest private sector employers.

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It is through these relationships that we’re able to understand the critical issues facing our customers as well as help identify the exciting opportunities for Scotland’s economy.

Judith Cruickshank has recently been appointed chair of the Scotland Board at Royal Bank of ScotlandJudith Cruickshank has recently been appointed chair of the Scotland Board at Royal Bank of Scotland
Judith Cruickshank has recently been appointed chair of the Scotland Board at Royal Bank of Scotland

Our vision for Scotland’s future is an economy built on sustainable principles. One where bold ideas are supported to reach their full potential, where the true power of Scotland’s renewable energy sector is unleashed and where young people are equipped with the financial capabilities they need to pursue their dreams and manage their money confidently.

The most urgent action required to help realise this vision is to support people and businesses through the cost of living challenge. As well as creating a hardship fund to support partners such as the Money Advice Trust and StepChange, we have launched a cost-of-living hub, providing practical tools, like a benefits calculator, to help those in need.We must also help create an environment where businesses can start, grow, and thrive. At Royal Bank, we’re empowering businesses to scale their ambitions through our Entrepreneur Accelerator hubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as an online network for those further afield. To date, the turnover of businesses supported totals over £400 million with more than 3,000 jobs created. We have also recently launched a £6 billion fund for SMEs, including a £2bn commitment to help micro-SMEs.

Sustainability is in our shared interest, and we know that climate change is the biggest challenge facing businesses and communities today. However, as highlighted by our recent Springboard to Sustainability Report, the transition to net zero also creates an exciting £22bn revenue opportunity for Scotland’s SMEs.

We have stated our mission to be a globally leading financial institution when it comes to taking meaningful action to protect the environment. Last year, we were one of the COP26 headline sponsors, along with signing up to the Glasgow Financial Alliance to Net Zero – a collective of firms from nearly 50 countries working together to build a zero emissions global economy. We have also signed a new partnership between ECCI, the University of Edinburgh and Royal Bank of Scotland, providing £1m to empower Scottish companies to take advantage of the net zero economy. As well as funding, we’re also creating practical tools like our Carbon Planner to help businesses understand their own climate footprint and identify and evaluate potential actions to reduce it.

There will be many more challenges to come, but as we move closer to our 300th anniversary, Royal Bank of Scotland remains committed to supporting our customers as we build a brighter future together.

Judith Cruickshank has recently been appointed chair of the Scotland Board at Royal Bank of Scotland



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