Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, has said that a revitalised financial sector is essential for Scotland’s economy and stated the Government’s determination to create an environment conducive to business success.
Moore was speaking after a visit to Scottish Widows, part of the Lloyds Banking Group, in Edinburgh and a roundtable discussion with Scottish Financial Enterprise and key members of the financial services industry. Accompanied by David Mundell, the Under Secretary of State for Scotland, Moore said:
“The Government has inherited difficult economic circumstances - but we are working hard and taking the difficult decisions necessary to get our economy back on track and lay the ground for new jobs in Scotland. The financial sector will play a major role in achieving that.
“Edinburgh is the fourth largest financial centre in Europe and is second only to London in the UK. The Lloyds Banking Group alone employs more than 10,000 people in Scotland. There is no doubt that this sector is vital to our economic recovery.
“It was good to meet staff at Scottish Widows who have clearly benefited from investment in their working environment and it was good also to hear the views of leading figures in the finance sector.
“Today was about listening to the lessons that they have learned from the financial crisis, and discussing how those lessons can form the basis of future success.
“There is a great deal of financial expertise in Scotland, and the potential for more jobs and even greater success. We must all work together to ensure that happens.”
Susan Rice, of the Lloyds Banking Group added:
“We were delighted that both Michael Moore and David Mundell visited Lloyds Banking Group so early in their tenure and took the time to meet and speak with colleagues. Meeting our staff in the workplace gave them a feel for the quality and breadth of the work we do here in Scotland. We hope the visit helped reinforce the Group’s on-going commitment to our colleagues, and to Scotland as a whole.
“I was also delighted to chair a small roundtable of senior colleagues from across the industry to share views with the Minister. Our discussion was very positive and we look forward to productive engagement in the future.”
The Scottish Widows visit took place at the company’s Dalkeith Road site where the Secretary of State was met by Susan Rice and John Penman from Lloyds Banking Group. Following a brief meeting Mr Moore was given a guided tour of the building where he met members of staff.
The Lloyds Banking group employees around 10,000 people in Scotland across all of its businesses, with major centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Fife.
Scottish Widows Investment Partnership is one of Europe’s largest asset management companies, managing funds worth nearly £150bn for clients including corporate and local government pension funds.