Royal Bank of Scotland will move its registered offices to England if Scotland votes for independence from Britain in next week’s referendum, the state-owned lender said on Thursday.
In the event of a “Yes” vote in the historic poll on September 18, “RBS believes it would be necessary to re-domicile the Bank’s holding company and its primary rated operating entity to England”, it said in a statement.
RBS, bailed out by the British government following the 2008 financial crisis, joins state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group in announcing plans on possibly switching key operations to England from Scotland.
“In response to press speculation in relation to re-domicile, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group confirms that… there are a number of material uncertainties arising from the Scottish referendum vote which could have a bearing on the Bank’s credit ratings, and the fiscal, monetary, legal and regulatory landscape to which it is subject,” RBS said in its statement.
“For this reason, RBS has undertaken contingency planning for the possible business implications of a ‘Yes’ vote. RBS believes that this is the responsible and prudent thing to do and something that its customers, staff and shareholders would expect it to do.”
The Royal Bank of Scotland is 81 percent owned by the British state after it was rescued with £45.5 billion ($73.7 billion, 57 billion euros) of taxpayer money during the global financial crisis in the world’s biggest ever bank bailout.