City traders on 24-hour alert over sterling

Oliver Smith
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TEAMS of staff at the Treasury, Bank of England, as well as sterling traders across a number of London-based banks were drafted in last night to staff 24-hour desks monitoring the fallout from the Scottish referendum.

BNP Paribas, Barclays and Rabo­bank were among the institutions who staffed currency desks through the night so that their City clients could trade on the outcome of the independence referendum.

Following the outcome of the vote this morning, the pound is expected to fall sharply in the event of a vote for independence, and rally slightly if the No vote wins. Traders have already been banking on a No vote.

The pound rose 0.23 per cent against the dollar, to $1.643 after pollster YouGov published its final predictions at 10.30pm, suggesting the final vote would be 54 per cent in favour of a No vote.

The Treasury and Bank of England also had teams monitoring the outcome of the vote throughout the night.

Last month, HSBC boss Douglas Flint warned that a Yes vote could prompt capital flight from Scottish institutions and would advocate “a giant step into economic uncertainty” for Scotland, “leaving its financial system in a parlous state.”