Regulator’s analysis shows large increase in RSL development spend

05 December 2017

Initial analysis from the Scottish Housing Regulator of RSLs’ 2016/17 audited financial statements shows that RSLs’ expenditure on development (including spending on new homes) has risen by 24%, to £807m. Capital grants from the Scottish Government to RSLs are also up by 32% to £336m, and new borrowing is up by 47% to £371m.

Interest payable on outstanding debt rose by 6%, to £167m. This increase is mainly due to the higher level of RSL borrowing, along with the re-financing of old pre-credit crunch loans with new loans.

Overall turnover - RSLs’ income from goods and services - was £1,560m, a fall of 1.6% on the previous year. Turnover from social housing activities was £1,363m, a small increase of 1%. Turnover from RSLs’ other activities fell by 16% to £197m. One of the reasons for this was a reduction in the provision of RSL care and support services.

Defined benefit pension schemes – in which the benefit on retirement relates to the employee’s average or final salary – continue to operate in a challenging environment. In aggregate RSLs recorded an actuarial loss of £42m in defined benefit schemes in the year to March 2017

RSLs’ financial statements are now available in an accessible format. You can read the data, carry out your own analysis and benchmarking here. If there is any additional data that you would find useful, please contact the Regulator at

The Regulator will publish detailed analysis and regulatory comment during 2018 as part of its annual review of the RSL sector’s financial position.

Notes to editors: 

1. The Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and seven Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at

2. SHR regulates around 160 registered social landlords and the housing activities of 32 local authorities.

3. SHR sets out how it regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.


Tracy Davren
Communications Manager
0141 242 5574