Scottish billionaire mulls new bank for SMEs
Bring on the billionaire. Jim McColl, one of Scotland’s richest men, says he plans to apply for a banking licence in March and target the popular SME market.
According to The Herald, McColl was speaking to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee, and explained his plans to pull together a consortium to support small businesses with loans of up to £5 million.
If you don’t know McColl, he’s got an OBE and is responsible for the development of Clyde Blowers. This is a Scottish industrial investment company which owns several engineering firms.
McColl, like many others across the UK looking to justify their ambitions, makes a sly dig: “No one was now going the extra mile to support small businesses after Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) £45 billion government bailout and Bank of Scotland’s acquisition by Lloyds in the wake of the financial crash.”
We hear this all the time – SMEs need help. I am the saviour etc etc.
The planned entity is called Scottish National Investment Bank. A public consultation was launched about it in October.
The Herald reminds people that the last Scottish bank to launch was Hampden & Co, which was the first new private bank to emerge in the UK for 30 years when it opened in June 2015.
While it has not been revealed how much McColl is looking to raise, he told the committee the £340 million which has been proposed as initial capital for the Scottish National Investment Bank was “not enough by a long shot”.
View our comprehensive list of UK challenger banks and their tech here. Hope you enjoy scrolling because it’s a long read.