A MAJORITY of financial advisers think taxes will rise if Scotland votes to become independent in September, according to a snap poll.
Investment firm Quilter Cheviot says its survey of 100 Scotland-based independent financial advisers (IFAs) is not “scientific”, but gives a snapshot of sentiment that shows a strong desire to remain within the UK.
Most IFAs think more power should be devolved within the Union, while their worst nightmare is an independent Scotland joining the euro.
Quilter Cheviot, which has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, said it is neutral on the Scottish independence debate but wanted to seek the views of the finance professionals who advise wealthy private clients and others.
The firm’s chief investment strategist, Alan McIntosh, said: “What emerges from our snapshot is a degree of resistance to full-scale independence but an appetite for further devolution. Our view is that this conservatism may in part be driven by the sheer number and nature of the unanswered questions in relation to potential independence. Such uncertainty is anathema to those managing investments and the financial well-being of families, trusts and charities.
“In addition, we know that many in the financial services sector rely to a great extent on clients, partners and colleagues in London and elsewhere in the UK. There is undoubted concern over potential disruption to these relationships in the form of new barriers to trade or new regulatory constraints.”
More than eight in ten of those questioned said that Scotland should remain part of the UK, with one of the main reasons being the perceived economic benefits of the Union.
Some 84 per cent said an independent Scotland would have to raise taxes in order to maintain public spending, while the Union is seen by some as a buffer against future economic shocks. Nearly nine in ten believed Scotland would have fared worse during the banking crisis if it had been independent.