RBS ditches plan to move HQ south of the Border

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Royal Bank of Scotland today insisted it was “business as usual” for the group, which pledged to maintain its headquarters in Edinburgh after the Better Together campaign’s victory in the independence referendum.

The state-backed lender, along with several other Scottish-registered organisations, had put in place contingency plans that could have seen it move its base to England in the event of a Yes vote.

But the firm said this morning: “The announcement we made about moving our registered head office to England was part of a contingency plan to ensure certainty and stability for our customers, staff and shareholders.

“That contingency plan is no longer required. Following the result it is business as usual for all our customers across the UK and RBS.”

Rival Lloyds Banking Group said it had maintained a neutral stance in the debate, as it was a matter for the people of Scotland, and pledged to keep a “significant presence” north of the Border.

A spokesman for the Bank of Scotland owner said: “The group is proud of its strong Scottish heritage and is committed to having a significant presence in Scotland.

“We remain fully focussed on supporting households and businesses in Scotland as well as right across the rest of the UK.”

Standard Life said it “fully respected” this morning’s decision, but acknowledged that “further constitutional change is very likely” after almost 45 per cent of Scotland’s voters backed independence.

The group said: “We will consider the implications of any changes for our customers and other stakeholders in our business to ensure their interests are represented and protected. As a large company based in Scotland, Standard Life is ready to contribute to this process.

“It is now important that we all move forward with respect and work together constructively in the best interests of Scotland and the United Kingdom. Standard Life is a successful global company – we are proud of our Scottish heritage and will continue to build our success from these roots.”

Clydesdale Bank’s parent group, National Australia Bank, insisted today was “business as usual” for the Glasgow-based lender.

It added: “Clydesdale Bank has strong roots in Scotland and it remains fully committed to its customers, staff and the communities in which it operates.”

Dundee-based investment firm Alliance Trust said its priority throughout the campaign had been to “uphold our duty of care to shareholders, customers and employees, while putting in place appropriate plans for the possible business risks associated with independence”.

“The future success of Scotland’s financial services sector is just as important today as it was before the vote,” it said.

“Alliance Trust will continue to be involved in the debate and engage with all political parties involved in the development of Scotland within the UK.”