Scottish independence: Alliance Trust warns of concerns ahead of Scottish referendum

Dundee-based firm says referendum is creating uncertainty for customers

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee