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Tags: Scotland | vote | banks | independence

FT: Scottish Bank Clients Are Voting With Their Feet Ahead of Independence Vote

By    |   Wednesday, 10 September 2014 01:21 PM

Investors are moving billions of dollars out of Scotland ahead of its referendum vote on independence out of fears their money may not be safe there, The Financial Times reported.

Wealth management firm Multrees Investor Services was among those yanking cash out of bank accounts in Scotland for their clients.

"If our clients are doing it then other financial services companies are doing it as well," Multrees CEO Chris Fisher told The Times.

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However, a senior partner at Edinburgh law firm Turcan Connell said fears that some kind of controls would be put on funds in Scottish banks were unfounded.

Nevertheless, exit clauses were being placed in commercial property contracts to Scotland as a precaution by buyers to let them terminate or renegotiate prices if voters choose independence in the Sept. 18 vote, The Times reported.

Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, has warned that a currency union between England and an independent Scotland would be "incompatible with sovereignty."

"Clients are concerned about the unknown," said Claire Walsh, chartered financial planner at financial advisory firm Aspect 8. "Some of them are elderly and nearing retirement and are worried about their assets."

In fact, large Scottish banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, are working on contingency plans ahead of the referendum vote, according to The Times. Standard Life is among big financial institutions that said they might move their domicile to England if Scotland becomes independent.

Recent polls showed "yes" and "no" votes for Scottish independence were neck and neck.

The possibility of Scottish independence is reviving memories of Quebec's attempts to separate from Canada in 1995, Kitco News reported.

Quebec's separatists were narrowly defeated in their attempts to secede from Canada then, with similar neck-and-neck results in which "no" votes won with a slender 50.6 percent majority.

Colin Cieszynski, senior market strategist at CMC Markets, said the Toronto Stock Exchange initially took it on the chin ahead of Quebec's independence vote.

"The worst of the declines [in the Toronto Stock Exchange] were in the three months to voting day, with a loss of 5 percent. One month to voting day was a loss of 3.3 percent. In the week before voting day it was actually up 1.5 percent and the day before up 1 percent," he told Kitco.

Nomura analysts said sector-wise, banking stocks were hit the worst, shedding about 7.3 percent ahead of the vote. Banks with ties to Quebec also had bigger losses. "Similar stock price reactions are currently being seen for Royal Bank of Scotland and for Lloyds," Nomura said.

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Investors are moving billions of dollars out of Scotland ahead of its referendum vote on independence out of fears their money may not be safe there, The Financial Times reported.
Scotland, vote, banks, independence
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2014-21-10
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 01:21 PM
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