Sir Alistair tipped to be Bank of Scotland governor

The prominent Scottish businessman, Sir Alistair Grant, is to succeed Sir Bruce Patullo as governor of the Bank of Scotland, according to strong rumours at the weekend.

If confirmed, his appointment would make him one of the most prominent businessmen in Scotland after devolution. As chairman of giant brewer Scottish & Newcastle he employs 5,500 people north of the border.

The Bank of Scotland, which would make no comment on the weekend reports, is one of the UK's best-regarded financial institutions, whose profits climbed by pounds 119m to pounds 664m in the year to February. The note-issuing bank will become even more influential after devolution.

Yet, like the current governor, Sir Alistair is a staunch and high-profile opponent of a new Scottish parliament having tax-raising powers. The 60- year-old, who also recently stood down as head of the Safeway supermarket group, was criticised last month by Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar for warning that S&N could switch investment to England if business rates were increased in Scotland.

His stand echoes widespread concern in the Scottish business community, however.

Today sees the launch of a campaign by the British Retail Consortium lobbying against the devolution White Paper's proposal for business rates in Scotland to vary from the rest of the UK.

The BRC has written to Mr Dewar, warning him that fears of a higher business rate in Scotland would discourage future job creation and investment by retailers.

Sir Alistair, who has sponsored the world premiere in Edinburgh of a new Sir Peter Maxwell Davies composition on the Jacobite uprising, has been a staunch Conservative supporter. Before the election he said he would strongly back the Tories in Scotland, saying: "Some Tories need a kick up the bottom for their divisiveness and disloyalty."

However, this summer Scottish & Newcastle broke with the habit of 20 years by cancelling its pounds 50,000-a-year donation to the Conservative Party.

"The board agreed it was inappropriate to make any donation to any political party," Sir Alistair said.

The Bank of Scotland's new governor is due to be named on or before the announcement of its interim results on 1 October. Sir Alistair has served as a non-executive director on the Bank of Scotland board for five years.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss