Cable says Scottish independence would see RBS become London-based bank

Could the Royal Bank of Scotland soon ditch its Edinburgh base and move to London?

According to Business Secretary Vince Cable, a move to London would be inevitable for the bailed-out bank, should there be a winning vote for an independent Scotland.

Cable, who has also said that secession from England may necessitate a separate Scottish currency, raised fears of job losses at RBS’s Gogarburn headquarters on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Cable said: “If you were managing RBS, I think you would almost certainly want to be in a domicile where your bank is protected against the risk of collapse.”

“They already have a substantial amount of their management in London and I would have thought, inevitably, they would become a London bank which would be symbolically quite important.”

The remarks prompted an unnamed senior RBS banker to tell the FT it was inconceivable that the bank would remain based in Scotland if the country voted for independence in September.

RBS, which is recognised as a cornerstone of Scottish business, and has had a Scottish base for 300 years, has maintained a neutral stance to the issue of independence; however, it has refused to deny a move across the border.

An RBS spokesman said: “We don’t support political parties or political movements. We will respond to what voters decide and governments agree.”

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