Cost of new regulator would ‘fall on industry’

Keith Skeoch with the SFE's award last night. Picture: Neil Hanna
Keith Skeoch with the SFE's award last night. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A NEW Scottish financial regulator in the event of independence would need hundreds of staff and cost millions of pounds, the chairman of the industry’s trade body said last night.

Ewan Brown, chairman of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), also told the organisation’s annual dinner in Edinburgh that the cost of an additional regulator would fall on the industry.

“It will be measured in millions of pounds. Staff numbers will be counted in the hundreds – Malta has 200, Ireland 600,” he pointed out in his address looking at some of the issues which may affect the industry if there was a Yes vote. This is not alarmist – it is a dispassionate description of the factual position,” he stressed.

Brown said it was not SFE’s role to address whether Scotland could or should be independent but about what would change for the industry.

The event, supported by The Scotsman, saw Standard Life Investments (SLI) take SFE’s annual award in recognition of the success of its Multi Asset Investing Team which is behind the highly successful Global Absolute Returns Strategies (GARS) fund.

The former head of the team, Euan Munro, left to join Aviva Investors in July. SLI’s chief executive Keith Skeoch said the award was fitting recognition for the success of the team approach taken to the fund. “SLI has a very strong team-based ethos. The Multi-Asset team always says that its success is very dependent on the contribution of the 1,000 people spread across our business,” he said.

Skeoch also said he believed the wider investment outlook was improving and that new Bank of England governor Mark Carney had made a good start in the role.

“He has done pretty well so far although it is too early to tell whether forward guidance is going to work.”

The other finalists for the award were Alliance Trust, the Kay Review Team for its work on how to improve the performance of UK companies and provide returns to savers, venture capital fund Rock Spring Ventures and the Scotland Schools Investment Challenge.