Edinburgh’s status as a financial hub highlighted by the placement of the Z / Yen World Index – Mark Sterritt

Mark Sterritt, UK Network Manager, Scotland at the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank’s first Regions and Nations Tracker, published in October, confirmed this in even more detail, highlighting the importance of Edinburgh – and its financial community – to the Scottish economy. The city’s investment-seeking business matchmaking with Edinburgh-based financiers is the driving force behind the Scottish stock market, accounting for almost half (47%) of total business-investor matches since 2011. Glasgow was second, with a share of 16%. , while North Lanarkshire and Aberdeen accounted for 9% and 5% respectively.

Our report also shed light on a larger point about the vibrant Scottish economy and financial sector. Scotland’s investor base is the most self-sufficient in the UK outside of London – 81% of equity transactions over the past decade involved a company and a UK investor. Only 19% of stock investors in Scottish companies came from other parts of the UK, with London taking the lion’s share to 12%.

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Combined with what we’ve found in other parts of the UK, Scotland is in relatively healthy shape when it comes to access to finance.

Investors are much more likely to invest in companies close to where they are located, with the company and investor within two hours of each other in 75% of Scottish holdings over the course of the last decade.

Despite this, there has long been an uneven distribution of funding for growth in the UK and much of this is affected by a lack of local investors.

While this may not be as much of an issue in Scotland’s central belt – as evidenced by the combined 71% share of equity pairs between financiers and firms in Edinburgh, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire – it does indicates that there may be challenges that need to be addressed. sent to other parts of Scotland.

Another important conversation to have around corporate finance is debt management, tracking regions and nations also highlighting that debt commodities such as overdrafts, loans, and credit cards Credit are the most widely used forms of business finance in all regions and countries. from the United Kingdom.

To support small businesses, the British Business Bank recently published a guide – Managing Your Business Debt, with debt management tips that will help Scottish business owners make informed decisions about managing their debt. There are many factors to consider, but the first step is to identify priority debts, highlighting the most urgent payments.

Communication is then essential and business owners should talk to their lenders and suppliers as well as investors and directors. Conversations should also extend to expert advisers who can help resolve any issues. There are, for example, a range of ways to improve cash flow, which can help businesses move from survival and recovery to thinking about future growth.

Scotland has a long track record as an entrepreneurial nation – clearly demonstrated by the thriving number of small businesses we have today. But to get the most out of high growth businesses across the country and help them manage debt, we need to ensure continued support around local business finance and investment, otherwise their potential may go unrealized.

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