Scottish Independence: Banking North of the Border

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Ismail Erturk, banking expert at Manchester Business School, airs his view on this topical question: What sort of impact could Scottish Independence have on businesses that bank with Royal Bank of Scotland and other banks that are registered in Scotland? (Question from www.theagendadaily.com)

I do not expect real material changes because RBS and other banks would not want to lose business customers or do things that would jeopardise their reputation. RBS and other banks have international customers outside the UK, including politically and economically high-risk countries, and their customers in independent Scotland would be treated equally well. But there will be uncertainties regarding the currency of independent Scotland and the supervision of and central bank support for the activities of these banks in independent Scotland.

The independent Scotland should look at these threats by banks as an opportunity and encourage banks with better capitalisation and social objectives in the European Union – like Swedish banks, German Landesbanks etc. – to establish presence in independent Scotland. Royal Bank of Scotland and other English banks that operate in Scotland are weak and have a poor track record serving their customers and the real economy since the crisis.

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About Author

Ismail Erturk

Ismail joined the School in January 1987, having worked previously for a merchant bank in Istanbul. Ismail is a regular commentator in the broadcast and print media. He has taught corporate finance, bank financial management and international finance on both the School’s MBA and Executive Centre programmes. His research interests are in financialisation and financial innovation.

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