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Scottish independence causes banking uncertainty

by - ITV News Correspondent

There's a picture emerging of a nervousness across the finance sector north of the border, after Lloyds and Barclays warned that a vote for Scottish independence may carry risks and costs for them.

Financial institutions have warned of the uncertainty that may follow a Scottish independence vote
Financial institutions have warned of the uncertainty that may follow a Scottish independence vote Credit: David Cheskin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

There was even talk emerging today of Lloyds and RBS having to move their headquarters south in the event of independence.

That's because it seems there is an old European diktat that says a finance house must be headquartered where most of its customers live - in both those cases, that would be in England.

Barclays has warned of risks linked to possible Scottish independence
Barclays has warned of risks linked to possible Scottish independence Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

So that would be bad news potentially for jobs in Scotland, and bad news certainly for the prestige of Edinburgh as a major finance hub.

However, George Osborne has warned in the past of a bloated finance sector that Scotland couldn't support in the event of a financial crisis.

Lloyds and RBS may be forced to move their headquarters to England if independence occurred
Lloyds and RBS may be forced to move their headquarters to England if independence occurred Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

But if their headquarters weren't in Scotland, it wouldn't be their problem - it would be England's.

So as ever on this topic, there's more than one way to look at any of the issues that emerge.

Read: Lloyds and Barclays warn of risk of Scottish independence

Read: Swinney says Lloyds comments 'back up currency case'

Barclays warns of Scottish independence instability

Barclays bank has warned that the upcoming vote on Scottish independence could "affect the group's risk profile" by potentially destabilising financial markets.

Barclays bank has warned that the Scottish independence vote could increase the group's financial risk
Barclays bank has warned that the Scottish independence vote could increase the group's financial risk Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Barclays' warning follows concerns expressed by several other financial institutions about the effect of the independence vote, including Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Standard Life.

Barclays said: "The referenda on Scottish independence in September 2014 and on UK membership of the European Union (expected before 2017) may affect the Group’s risk profile through introducing potentially significant new uncertainties and instability in financial markets."

Barclays said the vote could bring uncertainty "both ahead of the respective dates for these referenda and, depending on the outcomes, after the event".

Read: Standard Life could quit independent Scotland

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Swinney: Lloyds comments 'back up currency case'

Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney has said the warning by Lloyds Banking Group about the possible "risk" from independence backs up the case for a "formal currency area".

Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney
Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Swinney said: "Scotland has a strong and diverse economy and the point of independence is to win the powers we need to build on those strengths and create a more prosperous and secure economy - which is good for the financial sector and everyone else.

"Lloyd's Banking Group's comments show exactly why our proposals for a formal currency area are the right proposals, why they are in the best interests of business on both sides of the border and why that is what will be implemented by both governments."

Read: Lloyds says 'no immediate issues' posed by independence

Lloyds: 'No immediate issues' posed by independence

Lloyds Banking Group has said that Scottish independence poses "no immediate issues" to its business, after warning that separation could present a "risk" to its operations.

A spokesman for the group said: "Lloyds Banking Group believes that questions about Scotland’s future constitutional position are a matter for the people of Scotland and the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

Lloyds Banking Group has warned that Scottish independence may pose a "risk" to its business
Lloyds Banking Group has warned that Scottish independence may pose a "risk" to its business Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"There are no immediate issues that will affect Lloyds Banking Group customers either in Scotland or the rest of the UK, particularly as any change in constitutional arrangements are unlikely to come into effect until 2016."

Lloyds warns of 'risk' from Scottish independence

Lloyds Banking Group has warned that Scottish independence poses a potential "risk" to its business.

It listed separation in its annual report as one of the seven key risks in the months ahead.

Pensions and savings firm Standard Life has already issued its own warning about independence, saying it plans to leave Scotland if Scots vote for separation, and "if anything were to threaten" its business.

Lloyds' warning follows similar concerns expressed by RBS that independence poses unknown risks to its business.

Read: Standard Life could quit independent Scotland

Lloyds: Today's job losses part of 15,000 redundancies

ITV News' Consumer Editor Chris Choi has spoken to Lloyds Banking Group about the 1,008 job losses announced today:

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Lloyds job losses part of 15,000 reductions announced at 2011 Strategic Review - now 11,760 jobs now gone in total

Chris_normal

Lloyds tell me more than 500 of the role going today are "Relationship Managers" for small businesses

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Lloyds to address 'historic issues' after record fine

Lloyds Banking Group has been fined £28m.
Lloyds Banking Group has been fined £28m. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Lloyds Banking Group has said it will address "historic issues" in the taxpayer-backed bank after being fined a record £28 million from city regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In a statement, Lloyds said:

"Lloyds Banking Group accepts the findings of an FCA investigation into its historic systems and controls governing bancassurance legacy incentive schemes for branch advisers, and has agreed to pay a fine of £28m.

"The Group launched its new strategy in 2011 to fully refocus the business on its customers. As part of that approach, the Group has been addressing historic issues and ensuring that customers get fair and appropriate outcomes.

"Lloyds Banking Group has co-operated fully throughout the enforcement investigation and has agreed with the FCA the next steps with regard to customers."

Read: Lloyds fined £28m for 'serious failings' in bonus scheme

Chancellor meets Lloyds staff after government share sell

by - Former Business Editor

In a speech to assembled Lloyds Banking Group staff in Birmingham, Chancellor George Osborne thanked employees for putting up with "difficult decisions" and job restructuring since the 2008 government bailout.

On the Government's six per cent share sale today, the Conservative said that the Treasury achieved a "good price", making a £61 million profit for the taxpayer.

Lloyds Banking Group chief executive boss António Horta-Osorio added that he is "delighted" the Government has taken the opportunity to start selling its bank stake.

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