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UK's New Green Investment Bank to be Headquartered in Edinburgh

The UK government has decided to open the HQ of its Green Investment Bank (GIB) in Edinburgh, Scotland. Vince Cable, the UK business secretary, announced that the GIB would have its HQ in Edinburgh, but also another large office in London. The bank will have the job of attracting billions of pounds of investment to new renewable energy projects.

Cable said that he expected the decision to split the banks operations over two distant cities to be criticised, but that the aim is to “rebalance the (UK) economy” by not having all major financial institutions based in the English capital of London.

Obviously London was the most suitable city to base the new bank, but Edinburgh was second, and Manchester third. The government wants to spread economic prosperity throughout the whole nation and therefore opted for the HQ in Edinburgh, which will have the helpful side effect of reducing the power of the case for Scottish independence, whilst keeping an office in London to capitalise on the city’s financial power.

Cable said that, “Edinburgh has a lot going for it, both in terms of  asset management and finance sectors, [and] also its proximity to green energy activity … had Manchester come second, I would've felt obliged to look at Manchester but it didn't. Edinburgh had more to offer.”

Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister, has been pushing for Scottish independence by highlighting his country`s green energy potential, however other ministers have been arguing that independence would harm new investment potential by removing the appeal of a pan-UK energy framework.

Michael Moore, the Scottish secretary, said that, “the size and scale of the UK's single energy market ensures the level of investment that will unlock Scotland's renewables future, providing sustainable and affordable green energy across the UK. It makes perfect sense to have a GIB presence there.

“By basing the GIB's corporate HQ, asset management and administrative functions in Edinburgh and its transaction team in London, we can harness expertise across the country to deliver a strong and successful GIB for the UK.”

“The decision recognises Scotland's position at the vanguard of the renewables revolution and follows an excellent and professional bid campaign. It is great news for Edinburgh's economy and for Scotland's thriving low carbon sector.”

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com


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