ROYAL Bank of Scotland and Lloyds would be forced to move their headquarters to the UK if Scotland votes to become independent from the UK, a new report has claimed.
The research, by Professor Leslie Young, also claims that the UK Treasury’s stance on an independent Scottish economy is “the reverse of the truth”.
The Treasury’s claims that an independent Scotland would have too large a financial sector are unreasonable, according to Young, who teaches at Beijing’s Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, as the country’s two major international banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds would “have no choice but to re-register their head offices in the rest of the UK”.
The author also tears into the Treasury’s recent letter on the economic issues surrounding Scottish independence, written by permanent secretary to the Treasury Nicholas MacPherson.
Young says the contribution is loose and misleading, claiming that the letter has “diverted the debate on a grave constitutional matter onto non-issues”. The author also attacks the Treasury’s suggestion that two independent countries in a currency union would frustrate each other and cause political relations to deteriorate, like the relationship between Germany and other Eurozone states.
Young says: “Scots and English have long shared a currency — and an island, language, political tradition and culture. Scots and English know each other very well; they like and respect each other a good deal.”
Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter commissioned the paper as part of a campaign for more independent information about the referendum and its consequences. Hunter has previously insisted that he is undecided about his position on independence.
But asset management giant Blackrock took the opposite view this weekend, saying there were major uncertainties, and casting doubt over a continued currency union.