Long-awaited reforms to the law of moveable property in Scotland have been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

The Moveable Transactions (Scotland) Bill implements recommendations of the Scottish Law Commission in its report published in December 2017. Comprising 118 sections, it will allow businesses to raise finance by securing funds against assets such as vehicles, plant and machinery or whisky stores, as well as intangibles such as intellectual property rights, through a new form of security to be known as statutory pledges, of which there will be a new register.

It will also creating an easier way for businesses to sell unpaid invoices to banks or other financial institutions.

The Scottish Law Commission greeted the bill as "an important and welcome step in law reform".

Dr Jonathan Hardman, convener of the Law Society of Scotland’s Banking, Company & Insolvency Law Committee, commented: "We very much support the reform of the law governing moveable transactions. We consider that reform in this important area will be key to the future success of Scotland’s corporate finance sector and its clients."

Public Finance Minister Tom Arthur said: "If businesses cannot fully take advantage of their assets to raise finance they might otherwise have to resort to riskier and more expensive types of borrowing.

"This bill is vital to helping businesses and the wider economy.

"Greater access to business finance will support innovation and productivity, in line with our National Strategy for Economic Transformation."

Access the bill and related parliamentary papers.