Scottish independence: Alliance Trust warns of concerns ahead of Scottish referendum
Dundee-based firm says referendum is creating uncertainty for customers
Friday 07 March 2014
Alliance Trust has warn it could move parts of its business out of Scotland if the country votes for independence.
The FTSE 250 investment manager, which employs three quarters of its 300-strong workforce north of the border, said it had already started setting up companies registered in England ahead of September’s vote.
It named four main issues it was particularly concerned with: jurisdiction and taxation of individual savings and pension plans, financial services regulation and consumer protection, currency and membership of the European Union.
“This is not about making a political statement,” chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox said. “ The referendum is creating uncertainty for our customers and our business, which we have a responsibility to address.”
The news is a further blow to Alex Salmond’s plans with the Scottish First Minister already having to contend with statements by companies including Standard Life, Lloyds Banking Group and Shell who have also warned over their futures in the country - the second largest financial services centre in the UK, accounting for about 150,000 jobs.
Others such as BA-owner International Airlines Group have come out in support with Willie Walsh, chief executive, claiming that the Scottish Government’s proposals to cut air passenger duty meant separation could be “marginally positive” for the industry.
However, Katja Hall, chief policy director at the CBI, said: “The UK Government and the main political parties have made it clear that keeping the pound after independence would not be an option. The Scottish Government must outline its Plan B for the currency so that businesses and consumers are fully aware of the implications. “ As an independent Scotland would also have separate regulations, business costs would almost certainly increase, which is why many Scottish businesses are starting to express their concerns publically.”
The news came as Alliance saw its net asset value rise 16.1 per cent to 516.5p in the 12 months ending December 31. It also revealed it would pay a total dividend of 10.83p, up 12.5 per cent year on year, including a special dividend of 1.282p.
Ms Garrett-Cox, who has seen off two shareholder revolts in her five years in charge, responded to news that activist investor Elliott Advisors has increased its stake to more than 10 per cent.
“The business is in a different place now,” she said. “After five years of hard work and significant change at Alliance Trust, this year we have started to reap the rewards of that change. We know that we cannot afford to stand still, as change, be it regulatory, political or business-related, is a critical part of the world in which we operate.”
Shares in the company have risen by more than 20 per cent since the end of 2012.
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 3 Alton Towers Air breaks down: 80 people stuck on broken down Monorail during heatwave
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...