SNP fear privatisation of UK Green Investment Bank will lead to closure of Edinburgh head office

Green Investment Bank

EXCLUSIVE

As announced earlier this year, the UK government is to privatise the Green Investment Bank.

And UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has now written to Angus MacNeil, the SNP MP who is chairman of the Energy Committee in the Westminster parliament, detailing how the sale will be achieved.

Rudd said now that the company has proved itself to be a successful commercial enterprise, the ‘time is now right to enable the company to grow and mobilise more private sector capital into the green economy.

“This fits with our policy of getting the market to work in tackling green policy challenges, and minimises the need for public funding.”

Accordingly, Rudd will use the proposed new Enterprise Bill in the House of Commons to give the Green Investment Bank ‘the freedom to borrow and access larger pools of capital.”

Failure to do so, she said, would result in a real risk that the bank would remain classified in the public sector – even after privatisation.

While the SNP Govt at Holyrood is opposed to selling of the Green Investment Bank, backbench MSPs for Edinburgh are also now concerned that privatisation will also result in closure of its head office in the city – with the loss of highly paid management jobs.

The Green Investment Bank has its registered office in the city – but it does not follow that a company’s head office will be in the same city – or even the same country – as its head office.

An Edinburgh MSP explained: “The registered office can easily be no more than a brass plaque nameplate at a lawyer or accountant’s office.

“The head office is where the chief executive is based – and all too often Scotland has seen head offices flitting to London following privatisations or when a Scots company is taken over or acquired by an inevitably larger rival in England.”

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