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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
03 June 2024
Rachel Reeves: I’ll unleash Scotland’s economic firepower to deliver jobs and growth

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves speaking at the launch event for Labour's campaign bus | Alamy

Rachel Reeves: I’ll unleash Scotland’s economic firepower to deliver jobs and growth

Rachel Reeves has vowed to “unleash Scotland's economic firepower to deliver jobs and growth” as she prepares to unveil her vision for boosting the country’s financial services industry tomorrow.  

The shadow chancellor, who will visit Scotland on Tuesday for the first time since the general election was announced, will pledge that a future Labour government will create jobs, unlock investment and boost economic growth in the country’s financial services sector. 

Scotland’s finance and business services sector is worth over £14bn to the Scottish economy and employs around 235,000 people.  

Last December, Reeves, alongside Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and UK leader Keir Starmer, launched the party’s review of financial services along with an independent advisory panel of experts from the sector. 

The shadow chancellor is set to tell business leaders in Edinburgh that a Labour government will back the review.  

The plan involves bolstering the growth of financial services hubs in London and Edinburgh and unlocking the full potential of the mutuals sector, as well as increasing financial security for consumers by adopting a coordinated cross-sectoral approach to fraud prevention, creating a national financial inclusion strategy and regulating the Buy Now Pay Later sector.   

Reeves will also look to unlock the potential of AI in financial services, which will involve delivering the next phase of Open Banking and embracing securities tokenisation and a central bank digital currency.  

She will also pledge to ensure the UK leads in sustainable finance by making the country a global hub for green finance activity, delivering what she describes as a world-leading green finance regulatory framework, and partnering with the financial services sector to support the decarbonisation of homes. 

Reeves said: “Scotland’s financial services industry is one of the UK’s greatest assets, supporting thousands of jobs and billions of pounds investment to our shores. 

“That is why I was proud to launch our review of financial services in Edinburgh last year and why I can announce that we will deliver on it,” she said. 

“The SNP in Holyrood and the Conservatives in Westminster have let Scotland’s economy down, so it falls to Labour to help pick it up back up and deliver the change we need. I will unleash Scotland's economic firepower to deliver jobs and growth because when Scotland succeeds, we all succeed. 

“That’s the change we offer and it is the change we can deliver together if we are elected on 4 July.” 

Sarwar said: “Scotland is brimming with talent but 14 years of Tory chaos has hollowed out our economy and left us all poorer.  

“A strong economy is the foundation of Labour’s plans to deliver the change that Scotland needs, and these recommendations will help us deliver that.  

“Labour will unlock the full potential of Scotland’s financial services industry in order to drive growth and create jobs.  

“At this election, we can call time on Tory economic turmoil and decline by electing a Labour government relentlessly focused on delivering growth, jobs and prosperity.” 

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