THE Scottish National Investment Bank has posted a loss of more than £3 million in its maiden accounts, it was revealed yesterday.

The state-backed development bank opened its doors in November 2020 with a £2 billion war-chest to invest in Scottish companies engaged in three key “missions”: the drive to net zero, tackling “place-based” inequality, and harnessing innovation to help people flourish.

Inaugural accounts published yesterday show that it made an unrealised loss of £3.4 million in the year ended March 31, which the bank said could be largely attributed to the “early valuation profile of fund investments where unrealised losses are entirely expected followed by capital appreciation in later years.”

The period covered by the accounts saw the bank deploy £141.9 million of capital to support businesses and projects in Scotland, which it said had leveraged a further £327m of investment. The £141.9m figure included £129.3m of investment capital, which helped increase the bank’s net assets from £31.4m to £165.4m at year-end.

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But the period saw the bank become mired controversy when its first chief executive, Eilidh Mactaggart, departed abruptly at the end of February this year. Ms Mactaggart, who had been in post for less than two years, eventually cited “personal reasons” for her exit – several weeks after allegations of secrecy surrounding her resignation had dogged the bank’s leadership and the Scottish Government.

The search for Ms Mactaggart’s successor is understood to be nearing the final stage of the process.

The accounts show Ms Mactaggart received total pay of £348,047 for the year ended March 31. That included a base salary of £235,000, five months’ pay in lieu of notice totalling £98,250, and £7,709 for eight and a half days of unused leave, as well as pension contributions of £25,938.

Sarah Roughead, the bank’s interim chief executive who stepped up from her role as chief financial officer when Ms Mactaggart left, received total remuneration of £231,073 for the year. Chairman Willie Watt received fees of £60,000 for 48 days of work.

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Commenting on the loss it made in its first year, the institution said that, as a development bank, it is “required to take increased risk with investments to prove the commercial viability of new markets and technologies, or to bridge an investment gap where the risk is perceived to be too high for private sector investors.”

Companies backed by the bank over the period include Highland Coast Hotels, Lothian Broadband Group and Aberdeen Harbour.

Ms Roughead said: “The bank has demonstrated its ability to be a catalyst for private investment into businesses and projects aligned to its missions. In doing so the bank has established itself as a credible financial institution within Scotland’s finance community.

“The bank’s investments have ranged from £1m to £50m across a variety of deal structures– debt, equity, and fund investments. All opportunities the bank considers are aligned to its missions and are commercial investment opportunities.”

The bank unveiled its most recent deal in September, when it provided £9m of debt finance to Trojan Energy, an Aberdeen-based company that designs, manufactures and operates “next generation” electric vehicle charging points. It was the 20th deal to be completed by the bank and took to £258.4m the amount of capital it has deployed.

Mr Watt said: “This has been a year in which investment activity has ramped up and tangible impacts are manifesting themselves with our portfolio.

“The bank is acting as a catalyst to encourage investment in businesses or projects in the private and third sector in which it may otherwise be challenging to obtain funding.

“I am excited about the future; we have a strong team in place and are well placed to continue to deliver impact investment which has a material impact on the Scottish economy.”

The bank’s headcount increased to 61 people from 30 over the year covered by the accounts.