SFE Member Update | September

In just under a month, the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow, Scotland and the UK as world leaders come together to discuss how to meet the obligations of the Paris Agreement to limit global carbon emissions. The costs of failing to do so were laid bare in the International Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report, which emphasised that the summit may be our last chance to limit rising temperatures to under 1.5c this century.

The role of finance in achieving these aims cannot be understated, a point that was consistently stressed during the development and launch of Scotland’s Financial Services Strategy earlier this year. We are determined to make sure we capture the unique moment presented by COP26 to drive forward the green proposals laid out in our strategy.

In line with these ambitions, we have increased our activity around the journey to net zero with a range of high-profile events and engagements.

On Thursday we hosted a roundtable event with senior leaders from across the industry to map out areas of shared ambition and identify opportunities to collaborate on specific projects that we hope can inspire leadership on green finance and support the Scottish economy to achieve net zero.

On Friday we hosted His Majesty The Duke Of Rothesay for a valuable discussion on the role Scotland’s financial services industry can play in supporting net zero, both domestically and internationally, and on the Sustainable Markets Initiative, which he has spearheaded to drive progress and accelerate the pace of industry transitions towards a more resilient and sustainable future, putting nature, people and planet at the heart of global value creation. 

And on 20 October we will host our pre-COP26 Green Finance Youth Summit. The event, which is being managed by Common Purpose, will involve speakers and facilitators from financial services, other industry sectors, charities, social enterprises and local government, delivering both development outcomes and engagement in the key themes of COP26 and our sector strategy. Tickets are now available to purchase here.

Net zero will also be the main item on the agenda at October’s board meeting as we discuss the progress that has been made and our next steps to take advantage of this progress.

Each of these milestones give us more momentum and a clearer path to achieving our shared goal of becoming a globally recognised green finance hub and centre for excellence, and each of these milestones creates new opportunities for collaboration as we seek to support all areas of the economy to achieve a just transition.

As the eyes of the world are fixed firmly on Glasgow in November as leaders map out the next stage of our response to this crisis, Scotland’s financial services industry will be ready to its part.
Kind regards, 
Sandy Begbie CBE, CEO, Scottish Financial Enterprise
Government Engagement

  • Sandy met with Daniel Johnson MSP from the Scottish Labour Party on 9 September to discuss economic recovery and Scotland’s Financial Services Strategy strategy progress
  • Sandy attended a roundtable on 9 September with Liz Truss MP, former Secretary of State for International Trade and current Foreign Secretary, which focused on current economic environment and economic recovery
  • Sandy met with Dean Lockhart MSP and Murdo Fraser MSP on 10 September to discuss economic recovery and Scotland’s Financial Services Strategy strategy progress
  • Sandy met with Iain Stewart MP, Undersecretary of State for Scotland at Dover House on 14 September to discuss economic recovery and Scotland’s Financial Services Strategy progress
  • Sandy attended a meeting with Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Finance Kate Forbes on 14 September
  • Sandy and Philip met with Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise on 28 September to discuss economic recovery and Scotland’s Financial Services Strategy progress
  • Sandy met with Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, on 29 September to discuss skills and inclusion in financial and professional services and also the young person’s guarantee
  • 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 contact our new Director of Public Policy & Communications, Sandy Macdonald, smacdonald@sfe.org.uk


FCA Business Plan 2021/22 Event
On 7 September, we partnered with Dentons for a panel event with Maggie Craig, Head of the FCA's Scotland office, to discuss the FCA's recently published Business Plan for 2021/22 and the key issues for firms to consider.

Recovery of the Global Economy with Accenture
The third event in SFE's series with Accenture was held on 9 September on the subject of the post-covid economic recovery and how its taking shape in countries around the world.

SFE YP events
SFE Young Professionals are hosting their third coffee morning on 14 October at 9.30 am. Register here.The Young Professionals are also teaming up with Natwest Black Professionals on 14 October for a conversation on black history month. Register here.

Scottish Financial Services Strategy Update Event
On 16 September, SFE CEO Sandy Begbie, board member Colin Halpin and Director of Public Policy & Communications Sandy Macdonald gave members an update on the activation of the strategy and upcoming events.

Scotland Fintech Festival
Scotland Fintech Festival is underway, with  a range of conferences, meet-ups, morning breakfast sessions, evening networking events and much more which we would encourage you to get involved in, including our own event on 12 October with Origo on how fintechs can work with banks and other organisations on route to market. Register here.

Sandy writes in Scottish Business Insider
Read Sandy’s latest op-ed in Scottish Business Insider on what the sector is doing to support SMEs through digital adoption, and how it fits in to our broader plan to put business at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery.

SFE responds to Programme of Government 2021
SFE  responded to the First Minister's announcement on the Programme of Government,  expressing optimism for greater collaboration between business and government to drive a fair and sustainable economic recovery in Scotland.

SFE USP nominated in The Herald GenAnalytics Diversity Awards
Scottish Financial Enterprise Unified Schools Programme was shortlisted in this year’s The Herald GenAnalytics Diversity Awards for the category of Diversity Campaign of the Year. The awards ceremony, taking place on 7 October, celebrate the incredible work done by individuals and organisations to support diversity and inclusion efforts in both the public and private sector.

SFE Statement on International Travel Testing Requirements
SFE put out a statement in support of the open letter submitted to the Scottish Government by Scottish Tourism Alliance regarding the Scottish Government decision to extend Day 2 PCR testing requirements on fully vaccinated international travellers,  praising plans for a meeting between the organisation and the government and calling on government to listen to the concerns carefully. The Scottish Government has since reversed the decision.

Blogs and podcasts

Digital Skills and the Financial Services Industry
This blog was written by Anthony Ginn, Managing Director of Iquad, an executive search firm with a focus on tech skill areas, including programming languages, practices, and tooling. In this article, Anthony discusses solutions that could be adopted by financial services industry to bridge the digital skills gap whilst keeping a strong focus on diversity and inclusion.

Katie Hume: What wellbeing means to me
Katie Hume is a Corporate Associate at CMS and a member of the SFE Young Professionals network. Our blog article details her opinion on physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

SFSA profile blog with 2019 winners FNZ
In anticipation of Scottish Financial Service Awards next month, FNZ shares how the team felt about winning the award in 2019, the milestones they achieved, future plans and some advice for finalists in this year’s award.

Flex in the City podcast
Sandy spoke to Rachel Treece for FTS Global's Flex in the City podcast for #nationalinclusionweek. Sandy discusses his own path into financial services and our plans to support more people from every background to join the sector. Listen to the podcast on YouTube and Spotify.

Useful information

Graduate Development Survey by Skills Development Scotland (SDS)
Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has launched a Graduate Development Survey, offering representatives from every Scottish industry the opportunity to voice their opinions on the demand for Graduate Apprenticeship (GAs) Program. Employers in the financial services industry are encouraged to participate in this survey to share their perspectives on skill development of young

Finance Company Sponsored Dissertation: University of Edinburgh Business School
University of Edinburgh Business School are looking for financial services firms who are interested in sponsoring MSc Finance students for their dissertation projects. The output of the project would be a substantial report, along with an executive summary and/or presentation to the client.