£10bn fund rejects Scots schemes over independence

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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THE Scottish independence referendum has caused a multi-billion-pound investment fund to reject schemes in Scotland due to uncertainty caused by the poll, it emerged today.

Pension Insurance Corporation has passed up chances to provide debt for some building projects north of the border amid concerns over the future regulatory regime and currency after independence, according to co-head of asset and liability management Mark Gull.

The London-based giant manages almost £10bn for 100,000 pension scheme members, and generally lends money for between five and 30 years, meaning it seeks longer term assurances.

“There are certainly Scottish things we have turned down because of their Scottish nature,” Mr Gull told the Financial Times.

“There is a small but definitely material possibility that Scotland votes for independence, and if it does, that does not make it investment grade in our book. We want to have certainty.

“We are buying [assets] for the life of the cash flows. We have to make sure they are there to pay the cash flows. It is probably going to be all right, but that is not enough for us. Regulatory certainty is very important to us.”

But PIC did provide funding for student accommodation at Edinburgh University, suggesting there was still confidence in some Scottish institutions.

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