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Cameron: Scottish independence could hit financial services

Prime Minister David Cameron has urged against a Yes vote in next month’s referendum on Scottish independence, suggesting it could hit financial services firms north of the border.

At a speech at the Confederation of British Industry Scotland conference this evening, Cameron will say 90 per cent of those using Scotland’s financial services firms live elsewhere in the UK.

He will say: “This is one of the oldest and most successful single markets in the world. Scotland does twice as much trade with the rest of the UK than with the rest of the world put together.

“For some industries, the proportion of trade with the rest of the UK is even higher – 90 per cent of Scottish financial services’ customers are in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“This success doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because of the skill of people in Scotland and the opportunities that come from being part of something bigger, a large domestic market, underpinned by a common currency, common taxes, common rules and regulations with no borders, no transaction costs, no restrictions on the flow of goods, investment or people. Our’s really is an economy of opportunity.”

Last month, Money Marketing reported how uncertainty around whether UK financial products will be supported in an independent Scotland could force Scottish-based platforms to register their companies elsewhere.

Cameron’s speech comes as 200 Scottish business leaders signed a joint letter backing independence. Yesterday, another 130 published their own letter saying the economic case for breaking up the union had not been made.

Much of the controversy has been over what currency an Independent Scotland would use.

Better Together leader and former chancellor Alistair Darling has been calling on Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond to set out a plan B, which the country could turn to as a substitute for a full sterling currency union.

In a televised debate on Monday night, Salmond said “three plan Bs” have already been set out by the independent Fiscal Commission including sharing the pound without a formal currency union and setting up a new currency.


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There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What and are own regulators haven’t !!!

    Dave you are a moron at times

  2. They can buy back the Royal Bank of SCOTLAND and the (Halifax) Bank of SCOTLAND for a start, which would leave Lloyds to get on with its proper job. Perhaps Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Danny Alexander and a bunch of other SCOTS could apply their undoubted financial expertise North of the Border to help the cause, and save the rest of us from propping up these Little Scotlanders.

  3. “They can buy back the Royal Bank of SCOTLAND and the (Halifax) Bank of SCOTLAND for a start,”

    … and the payment for the buy back will be in ???

  4. @Cassandra

    It would be in pounds sterling.

    What they are converting from to pounds sterling is another question. 😉

  5. They’ll have to buy it back in Sterling, however they can get the FX from whatever they are using internally.

  6. @ Cassandra – That is a very very good question. Probably the Scottish Pound. It is unlikely to be Euro as they won’t get in to Eurozone land, the Spaniards will block this. Main reason being that if Eurozone vote Scotland in, very shortly thereafter Catalunya will want out of Spain and into Eurozone on its own and that will, FUBAR, Spain’s economy leading to all sorts of problems. IHMO of course

  7. “and save the rest of us from propping up these Little Scotlanders” – repeating a lie time and time again doesn’t make it true. A country that pays more to Westminster than it gets back doesn’t need propping up by anyone.

  8. Last year Scotland spent 65bn, tax receipt estimates range from 47 to 53bn. Thats a higher proportional overspend than the rest of the UK and has been for a very long time.

  9. Lies, damn lies and statistics …

  10. Jon, if you have the numbers to hand, why did you make that wildly misleading last statement? The numbers in the bottom row of the first two tables quite clearly show that only once in the last 5 years did Scotland receive more in proportionate terms than it paid in.

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