STANDARD Life has sought to reassure investors by announcing it has put ‘precautionary measures’ in place in order to tackle any disruption caused if Scotland votes for independence.
The pensions firm’s chief executive David Nish told customers that the group is prepared to move parts of its business to England in the event of a Yes vote.
The contingency plans would ensure that:
• transactions with customers outwith Scotland continue to be in Sterling
• all customers outwith Scotland continue to be part of the UK’s tax regime
• all customers outwith Scotland continue to be covered by existing consumer protection and regulatory arrangements eg. the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
He said: “Standard Life has a long history in Scotland – a heritage of which we are very proud and we hope that this continues but our responsibility is to protect the interests of our customers, our shareholders, our people and other stakeholders in our business,” said Nish.
“The plans we have put in place will help to ensure continuity and peace of mind for all our stakeholder groups. This includes planning for new regulated companies in England to which we could transfer parts of our business if there was a need to do so.”
Standard Life’s main concerns over the possibility of a Yes vote include currency, EU membership, arrangements for financial services regulation and the approach to individual taxation, with particular reference to savings and pensions.
Mr Nish added: “We will continue to serve our customers in Scotland and will consider what additional measures we may need to take on their behalf as a consequence of constitutional change once further clarity and certainty is received,” said Nish.
“Standard Life will continue to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. There will be no change to the way in which share dividends are paid to shareholders.”
And in the event of Scotland voting No and being granted more devolved powers, Standard Life would ‘monitor any impact’ on its stakeholders, Mr Nish said, adding that the firm would ‘take whatever action we feel is required’.