Standard Life could quit Scotland over independence


Standard Life profits rise

One of Scotland's biggest employers is considering moving some of its operations out of the country as part of contingency plans being lined up in the event of a vote in favour of independence.

Standard Life, which has been based in Scotland for 189 years, said it will "take whatever action we consider necessary" to ensure business continuity and to protect the interests of its stakeholders.

It has started work to establish additional registered companies to operate outside Scotland, into which it could transfer parts of its business.

Chief executive David Nish said a number of material issues remain unresolved in connection with independence, including the currency that the country would use and the shape and role of its monetary system.

He also highlighted arrangements for financial services regulation and consumer protection and the approach to individual taxation, especially around savings and pensions.

Mr Nish added: "We will continue to seek clarity on these matters, but uncertainty is likely to remain. In view of this, there are steps we will take based on our analysis of the risks."

The Edinburgh-based company, which employs about 5,000 people in Scotland out of a total headcount of 8,500, has £244.2 billion of assets under administration.

In annual results today, it reported operating profits of £751 million, a fall of 13% on a year earlier.