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Standard Life: Still no clarity on Scottish vote

THE economic issues that could follow a ‘yes’ vote on Scottish independence have yet to be fully explained, Standard Life said as it announced a 12% profit rise in the first half of 2014.

With the vote less than two months away, the Edinburgh-based financial services firm said it “did not believe that further clarity has been provided” on issues which it had raised earlier in the year.

In February, the pensions and insurance giant said it had drawn up contingency plans in the event of a vote in favour of Scottish indpendence, which included prepartions to shift operations and personnel from its Edinburgh headquarters – where it has been for 189 years – as a “precautionary measure to ensure continuity of our businesses’ competitive position”.

Standard Life warned that unless issues around currency, Scotland’s membership of the EU, the shape and role of the monetary system, arrangements for financial services regulation and consumer protection, the approach to individual taxation – especially around savings and pensions – were left unresolved, it could force a relocation south of the border in the event of Scotland’s independence.

At the time, chief executive David Nish said: “We will continue to seek clarity on these matters, but uncertainty is likely to remain. In view of this, there are steps we will take based on our analysis of the risks.”

 

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