Scottish independence: Lloyds’ contingency plans could see move to London if Scots vote yes

Lynsey Barber
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Lloyds' registered office could move to London from Scotland (Source: Lloyds)

Lloyds’contingency plans if Scots vote for independence could include moving its official offices from Edinburgh to London in order to avoid being classed as a Scottish bank.

The banking group, which owns Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has formed contingency plans ahead of the vote on independence on 18 September, which is swinging closer towards yes.

Though largely operating from its London headquarters, the bank’s registered offices are in Edinburgh.

Without the move, the bank would be considered Scottish which could mean it would lose support from the Bank of England if it ran into trouble, Reuters reports.

However, the part-state-owned bank could leave Bank of Scotland behind in its flight south of the border, leaving it to continue operating from its Edinburgh headquarters and classed as a foreign division of the group.

Lloyds will make a decision after the results of the referendum and has previously said it will work with authorities to serve customers across the UK if Scotland chooses independence.

The bank told Reuters:

The scale of potential change is currently unclear, but we have contingency plans in place. In the event of a 'yes' vote in the referendum, there would be no immediate changes or issues which could affect our business or our customers.

There will be a period between the referendum and the implementation of separation, should a 'yes' vote be successful, that we believe is sufficient to take any actions that we believe necessary.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has outlined an 18-month period following a yes vote in which such matters could be negotiated.

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