It IS regrettably predictable that those supporting the No campaign seem eager to make out that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s remarks (your report, 14 August) suggest there may be a “deposit flight” should Scotland vote for independence, in spite of the fact that such a suggestion could damage the Scottish economy whatever the outcome of the vote.
The real headline news, however, is that he has clearly not ruled out a currency union following independence.
While it appears that I do not share Andrew HN Gray’s priorities in putting concern for the asset backing of the pound in my pocket before matters such as education, health, welfare and job prospects for our youth (Letters 14 August), following Mr Carney’s remarks the scurrilously manufactured concern about a “currency Plan B” should now finally be put to rest.
The Governor said: “Whatever happens in the vote, the Bank will be the continuing authority for financial stability for some period of time, certainly over the interim period, and we will look to discharge our responsibilities accordingly.”
Given that the British government has even sought to encourage foreign leaders, such as Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, to express views in support of continuance of the Union, one can only imagine the pressure that was likely exerted on the head of the Bank to close the sterling currency union door to those supporting the Yes.
Instead, with his carefully considered remarks, Mr Carney left that door firmly ajar by indicating that a currency union could still continue beyond the interim period of independence negotiations.
In EXPRESSING his anxiety about Scottish banks, Mark Carney caused me some puzzlement.
RBS is an international organisation with most of its assets and investors outside Scotland; the Bank of Scotland lost any Scottish provenance when it surrendered to the Halifax; the Clydesdale Bank was taken over by an Australian bank and the name kept simply as a brand and TSB was sold some time ago by people who did not own it to an English group.
Possibly because the central bank of the United Kingdom is still misleadingly named the Bank of England, Mr Carney seems to attach an unjustified significance to titles. Perhaps he would like to name the “Scottish” banks he considers at risk.
(DR) PETER DRYBURGH
Dare one hope that the statement by the Governor of the Bank of England that, in the period immediately following any Yes vote, the Bank would maintain financial stability, will bring to an end the current fevered and arid argy-bargy about currency?
It is an important matter but one of the many which can only be resolved by technical discussion and political negotiation after the vote.
Bear in mind that since 1950 hundreds of new states have come into existence and they all seem to have contrived viable currency arrangements.
David Stevenson (Letters, 14 August) suggests that I was wrong (13 August) to say that new members of the EU must adopt the euro.
The European Commission’s website is clear: “All Member States of the EU, except Denmark and the UK, are required to adopt the euro and join the euro area.” Poland, Romania, and others are being allowed time to bring their economies into shape first. This is delay, not exemption.
But Scotland’s finances will be rosy, say the Nationalists. We shall have no excuses. And, since Eurocrats detest the UK’s opt-out, why on earth would they grant us one too?
Comely Bank Avenue
George Kerevan (Perspective, 13 August) is wrong to say that the UK’s current account deficit would double without Scottish oil and whisky exports.
He overlooks the offsetting flows: the rest of the UK sells a great deal to Scotland, check out the supermarket trucks trundling daily up the A1, not to mention all the motor cars (think Land Rover Solihull, Nissan Sunderland, Honda Swindon) sold in Scotland. All these would become UK exports.
In addition, dividends in Scottish businesses paid out to shareholders resident in the UK would become credits to the current account of UK balance of payments.
Last year, the net impact of these flows was examined in detail and concluded that the impact on the UK’s current account would only be several billions, small in the context of a £1.5 trillion economy.
Scaremongering from the Yes campaign?