Tesco bank warning over Scottish independence

TESCO Bank, which employs 3,200 workers in Scotland, has warned of the risks posed by Scottish independence to the business community.

Tesco Banks annual report warns against independence
Tesco Banks annual report warns against independence

The Edinburgh-based bank has advised investors that a Yes vote on 18 September “could significantly impact the fiscal, monetary and regulatory environment within which the group operates”.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

The warning comes ahead of a letter to be published this week from business leaders with Scottish operations who are concerned about the economic impact of independence.

Keith Cochrane, chief executive of the Glasgow-based engineering firm, Weir Group, is believed to be a central figure behind this letter but declined to comment.

However, not all of those believed to have been approached agreed to sign.

Bill Gammell, the former Scotland rugby player and boss of Cairn Energy, is among those who intend to stay out of the debate.

Tesco’s warning is set out in the company’s annual report under “principal risks” for the future.

A Tesco Bank spokesman said: “We are monitoring policy developments as we would with any other issue, to ensure we continue to serve our customers to the best of our ability.”

But he added that the company is politically neutral. “This is a decision for the people of Scotland and we will respond to whatever that decision is,” he said.

It follows a warning last week from Douglas Flint, chairman of HSBC, that Scottish independence could prompt “capital flight” from the country.