THE Scottish Currency Group (SCG) was created as a Facebook group in May 2019 by Dr Tim Rideout. It came shortly after he had succeeded in getting an amendment passed at the SNP conference committing the party to the establishment of a currency “as soon as practicable” after independence, as opposed to the Growth Commission proposal to use sterling for a decade or more. From a slow start over the first year or so, in the last six months the group membership has grown from about 500 to more than 2500 now.

Over recent months there have been a series of lively, and sometimes heated, debates about the importance of Scotland having its own currency and what this means for the funding of public services and for building a post-independence economy.

Many things can and do go wrong in life. The SCG is as aware of that as anyone. However, if some things do not turn out as we had planned, that will not be because we chose independence but because we chose the wrong way to go about it.

What will be most important here is how we manage our mistakes and any crises that occur which are out of our control (such as a pandemic). Choices will have to be made and sometimes mistakes will be made.

We have to make the right decisions if we are to achieve our aims for a fairer, more prosperous, productive and environmentally sustainable economy and society.

If we keep mistakes to a minimum and learn fast when we do make them, we can build an economy that serves the needs of people rather than the other way round.

The SCG’s position is that the right choices, in order to achieve these aims are as follows.

Firstly, to establish our own currency and a central bank without delay after independence, with preparations being made during any transition period. The name “Scottish Reserve Bank” is proposed for our central bank and further information can be found at

The longer we leave introducing our currency, the longer will be our dependence on others and we will be without the controls we need to make Scotland a vibrant ecologically sustainable country.

THE SNP’s 2018 Growth Commission has been rendered obsolete by later events and it is clear that what we need is to rebuild a post-Covid Green New Deal economy. Scotland can be the renewable energy centre of Europe.

Currency is the collective power of the people, which is why state funds (before Thatcher) were always referred to as the “public purse”. It is our money because it is our government that creates it. There is no such thing as “taxpayers’ money”.

What we need is a vision of the collective investment necessary to establish the full Scottish Government, whether that is 800 jobs in Dumfries in the Ministry of Agriculture, or 300 in Stornoway in the Coastguard HQ.

Secondly, we must create a new framework for banking and financial regulations to ensure that Scottish money serves the needs of Scotland and that banks which are based in Scotland play a role assisting our government in providing the finance needed for the economy to deliver for our people.

The SCG has two working groups. The first is drawing up detailed designs and technical specifications for the Scottish Reserve Bank. The second, under Dr Robbie Mochrie from Heriot-Watt University, is looking at the regulation required of the non-bank financial sector. That is pension funds, trust, financial advisers and the like. We aim to restore centuries-old Scottish traditions of prudence, honesty and working in the genuine best interests of the client.

The SCG also supports the work being done elsewhere to draw up a written constitution for Scotland. It is important that the Scottish Reserve Bank is accountable to our Parliament and that there is a clear legal framework for democratic accountability to the people of Scotland.

If these initial steps are taken then Scotland can set out to adopt further measures which will be needed to build a fairer, more prosperous, productive, and environmentally sustainable economy and society. We will have started out on the longer journey in the right direction.

In our next articles in The National we will turn our attention to some of the issues for the transition and the post-independence economy and discuss the things we can do once we have our own currency.