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Zurich: Scottish independence could hit advisers harder than Brexit


If Scotland takes to the polls for another independence referendum, a leave vote could have graver ramifications for advisers than Brexit, according to Zurich.

A draft bill for a second Scottish independence referendum was published last month, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged to hold a vote in the event of a “hard” Brexit. Scotland voted to remain in the EU by 62 per cent to 38 per cent in June’s UK EU membership referendum.

The insurer warns that advisers would be impacted by different regulatory regimes and cross-border issues, including whether English advisers would have to passport into Scotland.

Zurich retail platform strategy head Alistair Wilson says: “The simplest solution for advisers, although not without expense and upheaval, might be to establish a new company in both countries, or withdraw to one or the other.

“As a result, we could see two separate advice industries spring up on either side of the divide, as adviser firms make a judgement call on which side of the border to do business.”

He says advisers should remain aware of developments on a potential Scottish referendum, and that platform providers have an important role to play in supporting advisers through any uncertainty.

Earlier this week, Sturgeon said the Scotland would seek to intervene against the UK government’s appeal to the Supreme Court over the triggering of Article 50.



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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I woudl have thought that a lrage numebr of advisers would then only place client monies in English, Welsh or NI jurisdictions then. Many don’t have passports to do business outside the UK already and many South of Newcastle probably don’t have client living in Scotland, so it could be that the Scottish institutions loose Englands business first (w don’t use many of those based in Scotland already anymore as most of them are dinoseur life companies)
    It might just preciptate movement away of existing funds we haven’t moved already.

  2. Hi Phil,

    at least us Jocks, can spell. Thanks for your concern.

  3. …or another option might be that an English advice firm enters into a business arrangement with a Scottish advice firm whereby each undertakes to advise the clients who might “live the wrong side of the border” should independence come about.
    This all presupposes of course that Scotland: firstly votes for independence; secondly, automatically becomes a new member of the EU on independence.
    Then again, given that we won’t know how “hard” Brexit might end up being for probably another 3 years, why is anyone bothering to discuss the issue now anyway!

  4. I’m less concerned about this than I would be if I were Scottish!

  5. Most of the larger institutions have set up shell companies in England so they can move south if it ever happens. Some providers are already planning to move away due to the threat of a referendum.

  6. She is a nightmare

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