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Scotland ‘yes’ vote would spark savings flight, says UBS

A ‘yes’ vote for Scottish independence would trigger a rapid movement of savings deposits into the rest of the UK, UBS has predicted.

Analysts at the bank say savers would be reluctant to keep their deposits in Scotland without the Bank of England as a lender of last resort to Scottish banks, the Telegraph reports.

The Treasury has insisted that an independent Scotland would not have a currency union with the UK.

UBS says deposits are likely to move south of the border even during the interim negotiation period between September’s vote and Scotland’s secession, which would happen around 18 months later.

In a research note, UBS says: “It probably does not matter that the Bank of England will act as lender of last resort during the transition period – history has shown that small depositors will queue to withdraw their money from a bank even when those deposits are fully guaranteed.”

It says bank accounts in Scotland would have to offer higher interest rates to encourage depositors to stay north of the border.

UBS argues that if deposits are moved to the rest of the UK, it will have a significant impact on the economies of the two countries.

It says: “Depending on the severity of deposit movement, there could be a reallocation of GDP generation from Scotland to the rest of the UK.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Exasperated Me 10th July 2014 at 9:45 am

    If the Scots had been independent when regulation came along we wouldn’t have had so much hassle with all those toxic policies churned out by their amoral life offices.

  2. More scaremongering. On what research are these conclusions based? There’s no reason why Scottish banks would be any more or less susceptible to financial shocks.

  3. Independence would reduce the credibility of Scotland which would then be a very small nation a bit like Iceland or Ireland lets say.
    OOOOOPS.

  4. @Colin:

    It is what the man on the street in the Former UK perceives that is important – not the facts. As the comment form UBS rightly says, even a government guarantee cannot stop people from queuing to get their money.

    But please be in no doubt, there will be money moved away from Scottish institutions after a YES vote.

    My clients are virtually all English and they are very happy to have their money managed or administered in British companies based in Scotland in a United Kingdom. However, I have been surprised at the frequency at which Scottish Independence has come up as an issue in review meetings. A significant proportion have said that the morning after a Yes vote they will ask for their money to be moved south of the border.

    For many it’s not just about the safety of their cash or investments. Without a vote of their own over the future of the Union, many clients feel it is the only tangible way of demonstrating their views about independence.

    I am not trying to influence anyone’s vote (and I’m conscious that I’ve fallen into the trap of the negative campaigners). But please don’t be naive enough to think that there won’t be a backlash from ordinary investors in the fUK after a YES vote. (Pun intended).

  5. It is interesting to see UBS – commenting on You and them – about US ? More interestingly is the fact that Swiss Ski Schools all over Switzerland dumped UBS in favour of . . .Aberdeen Asset Management . . .apparently because of the bad publicity and bad banking .. .etc., within UBS who dinna ken the direction they are gaen ( going )….at any parteekyouler time . . .as the say in the west coast. The bank in and oot of financial services like a fiddlers elbow . . . lacks consistency or persistency ..and a lack of commitment to clients and advisers. Perhaps they will provide direction – and commitment for them an Us – and You and them ?

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