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Peers attack Scottish independence over impact on financial services

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Cross-party peers have lined up to blast the impact Scottish independence would have on the financial services sector.

Speaking in a House of Lords debate this week, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour peers joined forces to warn that the potential effect on pensions, mortgages and regulation are not fully understood by consumers.

A referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent country is due to be held on 18 September 2014. The Treasury released a report earlier this year claiming a yes vote would lead to increase costs for consumers and regulated firms.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord John Shipley said: “[Scottish independence] could create additional difficulties for financial services firms and increase costs for households and businesses in areas such as pensions, Isas and insurance.

“It could also mean that consumers living in different parts of the UK were offered different standards of protection when purchasing financial services. I am not sure that all these matters have been fully understood by consumers on both sides of the border and they need to be so.”

Conservative Lord John Macgregor said: “The problems that would face Scottish banks, savers and depositors in the event of a financial crisis in an independent Scotland could be immense and need to be thought through in advance.”

Liberal Democrat peer Lord William Wallace raised concerns about bailing out any failing banks, the impact on funding defined benefit pensions and concerns around cross-border business dealings.

Conservative Lord Charles Lyell said: “I glanced at an instructive programme over the weekend which said that 90 per cent of the mortgage and pension products of the Scottish financial industry go to customers and clients with a non-Scottish postcode—I assume that is across the border in what might well be a separate country.”

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The Scottish banks were the major players in the recent financial crisis and the act of union was signed because Scotland was being paid. England is paying a very large price to keep Scotland happy, when do we get the vote?

  2. The small hole in your theory is that “England” was happy to take those Scottish banks’ taxes for the last 250 years. The UK was getting the reward from the Scottish banks so can’t complain when they bungled the risk management through inadequate regulation. Any reasoned analysis (google ‘Scotland GERS’) shows that with the oil, Scotland pulls its weight as well as anyone. That’s the only reason the Westminister Etonians tolerate Scotland.

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