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Scottish banks confirm plans to move south

18/09/14

The potential upheaval of the Scottish financial services sector has been outlined further, with pledges by RBS and Bank of Scotland to move their headquarters to London.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Bank of Scotland have both confirmed their firm intention to move their businesses from Edinburgh to London if Scotland votes for independence.

A number of companies - particularly in the financial sector - have indicated they would consider moving in the event of a yes vote, amid uncertainty over issues such as what currency Scotland would use and how long it would take it to become a member of the EU.

These were among the reasons cited by Standard Life for revealing it a plan B to move some parts of its business south, but the banks have gone further with an unambiguous statement that they would move if the yes campaign prevails.

RBS said in a statement that it has "undertaken contingency planning for the possible business implications of a ‘Yes’ vote".

It added: "As part of such contingency planning, RBS believes that it would be necessary to re-domicile the Bank’s holding company and its primary rated operating entity (The Royal Bank of Scotland plc) to England."

However, the bank has said, it would still "retain a significant level of its operations and employment in Scotland".

Bank of Scotland is owned by Lloyds Group, which said it would move the legal headquarters to the existing Lloyds base in London.

It remains to be seen just what the impact on jobs would be if the vote does go in favour of independence, but a significant shift in the balance of finance roles southwards may alter the situation from that revealed in the Marks Sattin 2014 Insight Report.

This showed career progression was the most common motivation for moving jobs in the financial sector, followed by remuneration, work-life balance and working environment.

Necessity following a shift of jobs from Scotland to England may become a new factor after a yes vote, but recruiters might be wise to be aware of what motivates job movers as the factor outlined in the 2014 report may still apply.

After all, some could decide the best approach is to make a fresh start and assess what they really want most before seeking a new job.

 

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