SFE Member Update | October

This month marks exactly a year since I was appointed as Chief Executive of SFE. Of course there have been challenges, but for the most part I believe the year has been defined by gradual and consistent progress and a building sense of momentum. The strategy has given us a clear set of shared priorities that the whole industry can support to drive positive change on our four strategic themes.

At no time has this been more apparent than over the last month. Our diary has been packed with outstanding events and we have had engagement and participation from right across our membership.

October Highlights

  • We kicked off the month hosting Prince Charles with approximately 25 leaders from our sector debating his Sustainable Markets Initiative and what practical actions can we take to support the transition towards a more resilient and sustainable future, putting nature, people and planet at the heart of the economy.  Read about it here.
  • This was followed shortly after by our Green Finance Youth Summit, which gave young professionals from across financial and professional services a chance to engage with business, political and third sector leaders on the role of the industry in addressing climate change ahead of COP26.   
  • We also held a number of high profile roundtable events, including one with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Paul Scully MP and  one with Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Sam Woods.
  • To top things off, we were able to bring members together for the first Scottish Financial Services Awards since 2019, to celebrate the outstanding contributions that both firms and individuals have made and toast to an exciting future. I would like to thank EY for generously sponsoring the awards again, as well as our charity partners SAMH and our wonderful host Shappi Khorsandi, who really brought the night to life. Read about our winners here.  

After months like these there is often an inclination for things to plateau back to some sort of equilibrium, however we are determined to keep this momentum up. To help us do this we have two new board members, Mike Tumilty and Louisa Knox, who are taking up the roles of board sponsor for developing our international network and leading the journey to net zero respectively.

We also welcomed our Director of Membership Services, Jayne Currie who will be focusing on strengthening our membership proposition. With this new talent comes new capability and a fresh impetus to further deliver on our core strategic ambitions.

With COP26 now under way, net zero has rightly been our main focus over the last month and I am delighted with the progress we have made. As I mentioned in my speech at the awards, in Q1 of next year, we will bring to both governments a plan with the necessary clarity and focus together with actions and asks of government in order for us to realise our green finance ambitions.

In the months and years ahead we will see  the same level of focus and engagement on each of our strategic themes as we develop and deliver tangible policy goals and initiatives to support our industry and the entire economy to be greener, fairer and more diverse while also driving inward investment and enhancing our global reputation as a longstanding and dynamic financial services centre.

I’d like to thank each one of you, our members, for your continued support and engagement and am looking forward to another year of even greater success and ambition.  

Kind regards,
Sandy Begbie CBE
Government Engagement

  • Sandy met with Douglas Chapman MP, SNP Westminster Spokesperson for Small Business, Enterprise & Innovation on 6 October to discuss the economy, banking barometer and skills challenges.
  • Sandy attended the quarterly Government/Business Group’s meeting co-chaired by Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart MP and Finance & Economy Secretary Kate Forbes MSP on 7 October
  • Sandy met with Liz Smith MSP, Dean Lockhart MSP and Murdo Fraser MSP from the Scottish Conservative Party on 8 October to discuss banking barometer, skills challenges and Young Persons Guarantee
  • Sandy met with officials from HM Treasury on 13 October to discuss the economy, progress with our strategy, climate change and sustainable finance
  • Sandy met with Hugh de Lusignan, DIT Head of Financial Services on 13 October to discuss our strategy, financial services in Scotland and supporting our members with export opportunities
  • Sandy and Philip met with Ivan McKee MSP - Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise on 21 October to discuss the banking barometer, net zero and skills
  • Sandy continues to attend weekly meetings with Scottish Government and business trade bodies. If you have anything you would like Sandy to raise on these calls please get in touch with him direct or our Director of Public Policy & Communications Sandy Macdonald, smacdonald@sfe.org.uk  


SFE & Accenture Webinar | A Sustainable Future
We're hosting our fourth and final webinar series with Accenture on 9th November. Join us to discuss how innovation in fintech and green finance can drive a more sustainable future for the financial services sector. Hit the link to register.

SFE & Capco Event | ESG: Elevating Your Data Strategy
We are delighted to be partnering with Capco for an in-person breakfast discussion on ESG and how financial services organisations can elevate their data strategy on 11 November at the Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh. With deadlines looming for numerous UK and European ESG-related regulations this is a vital subject for firms across the sector. There is still time to register and you can do so via the link above.

Burness Paull Financial Services Winter Series
Burness Paull Financial Services Regulatory team will be running a Winter Series aimed at next generation in-house lawyers, compliance and financial services professionals to help you get to grips with some of the key concepts of the UK’s financial services regulatory regime. These virtual trainings are organised across four short-burst 30-minute sessions. You can sign up for as many of the sessions as you like.

Scottish Careers Week
We’ll be taking part in a number of activities for this year’s Scottish Careers Week including hosting the SFE USP Panel Event on Sustainable Investment on Monday 15 November at 12pm in collaboration with Developing the Young Workforce and Investment20/20. Students will hear from sustainable investment experts as well as two recent apprentices/trainees who began their careers in sustainable investment after secondary school.

Keep up to date with all of our activities by following us on Linkedin and Twitter and following the Young Professional Network Linkedin.

SFE Scotland Fintech Festival event with Origo
During the Fintech Scotland Festival in October, SFE partnered with Origo for a discussion on route to market and how fintechs can successfully work with large banks and other organisations to achieve their aims. Held on 12 October, speakers at the event were SFE CEO Sandy Begbie, Anthony Rafferty, Chief Executive of Origo and Rozanne Shepherd, Transformation and Tech, Lloyds Banking Group

Investigations and enforcement action in the financial services sector
On 7 October, SFE teamed up with Oliver Powell, Barrister at Outer Temple Chambers, London to discuss the FCA's criminal investigatory and enforcement powers and key protective steps financial services professionals and businesses can take in the event of being subject to enforcement action by the FCA.


Sandy Writes in The Scotsman
Ready Sandy’s Op-ed in The Scotsman on World Mental Health Day. He discussed negative impact of the pandemic on mental health especially for young people and how the financial services sector is leading by example to create mentally healthy workplaces.

SFE Responds to UK Budget 2021
SFE responded to the Chancellor's announcement of the UK 2021 Budget, expressing the significance of the plan to drive economic recovery through investment, skills development and the net-zero agenda. Our opinion was capture in Scottish Financial Review and The Insider.

SFE’s Appointment of Two New Board Members
SFE has appointed Mike Tumilty, Chief Operating Officer at abrdn and Louisa Knox, Partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn, as non-executive board directors. These new appointments will bolster SFE’s ability to support industry ambitions to lead the journey to net zero and develop the strength of Scotland’s international network. This news was captured in Scottish Financial Review and Scottish Financial News.

Blogs and Podcast

Sandy’s Podcast with IQUAD
In a recent podcast with IQUAD, Sandy Begbie CBE discusses how increased awareness about career paths in the financial industry among young people is critical to addressing the digital skills gap challenge. You can watch the full podcast on YouTube, Apple Podcast, or Spotify.

Equality & Inclusion: Pivotal Actions for FS to Bridge Tech Skills Gaps
Read our interview with Toni Scullion, the CEO of dressCode. Toni is an outspoken supporter of early childhood education to close technological skill gaps and promote equality and inclusion in Computing Science classrooms across Scotland. The blog highlights what can and should be done to address the tech skills gap, equality, and inclusion in FS tech roles in Scotland.

SFE’s #SpotlightonEmployers series
As part of SFE’s focus on skills and inclusion, we have launched a #SpotlightOnEmployers blog series to help promote the programmes, initiatives, and other employment schemes run by SFE member firms for young people. We have published a showcase of opportunities at Pinsent Masons and PwC. Participation from other member organisations is welcomed.

Young Professionals Network

Meg Whyte: Mental health in business
Meg Whyte is a senior researcher at Carlyle and SFE Young Professionals Deputy Chair for Edinburgh. Meg’s article shares insights into why and how businesses should prioritise mental health in the work environment.

Nathan Thompson: The Importance of financial wellbeing
Nathan Thompson is Head of Service Design at Aegon and a member of Scottish Financial Enterprise Young Professionals blog. In this blog article, Nathan discusses the importance of gaining control over financial future, setting realistic savings goals and drafting a written plan.