UK govt announces plans for National Wealth Fund to ‘unlock’ investment

The UK government has announced plans to establish a National Wealth Fund that aims to boost growth and unlock investment in the UK.

Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, and Business Secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, have instructed officials to begin work on aligning the UK Infrastructure Bank and the British Business Bank under a new National Wealth Fund that will invest in “new industries of the future”.

A National Wealth Fund Taskforce has been formed and convened a meeting to begin this work.

Chaired by the Green Finance Institute, the taskforce includes former Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, Barclays CEO, C.S Venkatakrishnan, Aviva CEO, Dame Amanda Blanc, and ‘large institutional investors’.

Under the plans, the fund will seek to bring together key institutions and a “compelling proposition” for investors.

An additional £7.3bn of funding will be allocated through the UK Infrastructure Bank so investments can start being made immediately.

Reforms will be made to the British Business Bank as part of the National Wealth Fund reforms, with the government aim of mobilising the UK’s ‘deep pools’ of institutional capital, such as pension monies, by “harnessing its pipeline of investments and track record as the UK’s largest investor in venture capital”.

The government said this will unlock billions of pounds of investments in the UK’s green and growth industries.

It will bring forward new legislation when parliamentary time allows to put the National Wealth Funds in the statute books, making it a permanent institution.

Reeves has tasked the Treasury with engaging with industry, government departments, and public finance institutions to set the plans in motion.

“We need to go further and faster if we are to fix the foundations of our economy to rebuild Britain and make every part of our country better off,” Reeves stated.

“That is why in less than a week we are establishing a new National Wealth Fund and bringing together the key institutions that will help unlock investment in new and growing industries.

“Britain is open for business – and the work of change has begun.”

Commenting on the announcement, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) director of policy and advocacy, Nigel Peaple, said: “In examining the role pensions might play in providing additional investment in UK growth assets, the PLSA recommended last year that the government take steps, alongside the British Business Bank, to improve the pipeline of investible assets available to pension funds.

“We welcome the government acting decisively to set out plans for a National Wealth Fund for this purpose and look forward to working in partnership to help develop solutions that work for savers, pension funds and the economy.”

This article was originally published on our sister website, Pensions Age.

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