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RBS, other firms may have to move out of Scotland

Scottish financial firms including the Royal Bank of Scotland may have to move their headquarters to England if Scotland becomes independent and joins the European Union. According to Bank of England governor Mark Carney if Scotland chose to break away from the rest of the United Kingdom at a 18 September referendum, EU law stipulated it would need to guarantee deposits in England and Scotland where many have their largest customer bases. Scotland is home to the second-largest financial services industry in the United Kingdom, accounting for about 150,000 jobs and making up about 12.5% of Scottish GDP. Carney said RBS, once the world’s largest bank which is 81% owned by the British government after being bailed out in 2008, may have to move. It is a distinct possibility, he said adding it would not, however, prejudge it. It depends on their arrangements as well. Insurance firm Standard Life and investment manager Alliance Trust have already started setting up some companies based in England in a precautionary move because of uncertainty over tax, regulation, currency and EU membership should Scotland end its 307-year tie with England.

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