After a series of meetings between senior Scottish Government and City of London officials, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Lord Mayor Nick Lyons, GEFI convened financiers and policymakers at Phoenix Group’s Edinburgh offices last week on 24th January.

The panel featured Amanda Young, abrdn, Richard Rollison, Scottish Government, Chris Hayward, The City of London, David Pitt-Watson, Cambridge Judge Business School and Dame Susan Rice, GEFI & The Financial Services Culture Board, and came together to discuss the nature of collaboration between Scotland and London on finance, and the role that Scotland’s sustainable finance community can play.

The discussion emphasised that Scotland has power in the investment space, in particular in regards to sustainability and ethical investment where it is leading the way with a community of sustainable finance practitioners.
This is in part down to the size of the industry: people know each other in a way that is difficult in a city as large as London. Another factor is the disproportionate number of SMEs in the Scottish economy.

Scotland’s strengths are in long-term investing, and in values-led approaches such as sustainable investing, which means it complements the City of London’s global reach. Panellists emphasised that there is not a competition between London and Scotland: we all bring different things to the equation and many people in Scotland have deep ties to London.

Overall, the scale of problems like climate change can feel huge, but focusing on tangible actions in a specific place can be a fantastic start.

Watch Chris Hayward and Richard Rollison outline their view on Scotland-London collaboration.