Lloyds could pull out of independent Scotland

Lloyds Banking Group is considering pulling its registered office out of Edinburgh and moving to London if Scotland becomes independent, Reuters reports.

The group is currently registered in Scotland despite having its headquarters and senior staff based in London.

Lloyds has already expressed concern over the uncertainties created by Scottish independence which it believes could have a “material impact” on compliance costs, tax position and the cost of funding the bank.

A poll released yesterday by YouGov showed that when discounting undecided votes, the number of Scottish ‘yes’ voters had jumped by eight points since the start of August to 47 per cent versus 53 per cent who plan to vote ‘no’.

Banking industry sources are said to have told the news agency that the bank will shift its registered office out of Scotland while Bank of Scotland, which is owned by Lloyds, will remain in Edinburgh as a foreign division.

Lloyds said in a statement that contingency plans have now been completed, but reinforced that no final decisions will be made until the outcome of the referendum on 18 September is known and that the bank will work alongside authorities so that it is able to provide services for customers across the UK.

It said: “The scale of potential change is currently unclear, but we have contingency plans in place,

“In the event of a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum, there would be no immediate changes or issues which could affect our business or our customers. There will be a period between the referendum and the implementation of separation, should a ‘yes’ vote be successful, that we believe is sufficient to take any actions that we believe necessary.”