Scottish National Investment Bank ex-CEO Eilidh Mactaggart left job with £117,500 payment

The head of Scotland’s investment bank, which is publicly-owned, left with a payment of £117,500 instead of continuing to work her notice period.

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Eilidh Mactaggart had been CEO of the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), and handed in her resignation due to personal reasons on January 27.

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However, it has been revealed that Ms Mactaggart was given the payment, which is half of her annual £235,000 salary, and left immediately rather than working her six-month notice. She is also reported to have received half of her annual £37,500 bonus

Ms Mactaggart’s departure initially came as a shock with very few details given at the time.

It took the bank until February 25 to make the decision public, prompting questions from MSPs as to why Ms Mactaggart had taken the decision to leave.

Last month, bank chairman Willie Watt and board member Carolyn Jameson had initially refused to expand on Ms Mactaggart’s decision to leave, saying there was a “duty of care” the bank has to adhere to as an employer, as well as the former chief executive’s own request for privacy.

Ms Jameson had said there had been no severance package on offer.

Eilidh Mactaggart quit her role after two years in the post.

Critics have accused the SNP of a cover-up and that ministers have “tried to blur” what occurred at the SNIB. Ministers were also told to give a date they were told about her departure.

Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs during a session of First Minister’s Questions that the government was told about Ms Mactaggart’s resignation “earlier in February" than the public announcement on February 25.

In official briefing documents, ministers were told to say the government had been informed of the resignation on February 18.

Earlier emails show that finance secretary Kate Forbes was aware of the decision and the need for a successor as early as February 11.

Scottish Conservative finance spokesperson, Liz Smith said: “Questions will inevitably be raised over why the SNP appear to have again tried to blur goings-on at the Scottish National Investment Bank.

“As usual, the SNP are doing all they can to avoid scrutiny and accountability. With so much public money – and indeed Scotland’s long-term economic prospects – at stake, the public have a right to expect their Government to be open and transparent."

A spokesperson for the Scottish National Investment Bank said: “Eilidh was paid six months’ notice which was due under the terms of her contract of employment.

“No other financial settlement was made.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “As the First Minister told Parliament, Ministers had no input into the resignation of the former chief executive although were told earlier in February that the chief executive would be leaving the bank imminently.

“The chair of the bank, Willie Watt, advised Scottish Government officials on January 31 that the chief executive had offered her resignation. The Scottish Government and the bank discussed the possible terms of that resignation and potential successor arrangements over the following weeks – with ministers updated accordingly.

“On February 18, the resignation was formally confirmed to ministers. The former chief executive was paid in lieu of her notice period in line with the bank’s contractual obligations.”

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