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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a748120

Brewin demands Scottish 'Yes' clarity amid client confusion

by Dylan Lobo on Apr 28, 2014 at 08:08

Brewin demands Scottish 'Yes' clarity amid client confusion

Brewin Dolphin has said the confusion surrounding Scottish independence is making it difficult to plan accordingly for clients.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, Brewin head of investment management Stephen Ford (pictured) said while his firm remained neutral on Scottish independence, his firm had a ‘duty’ to inform clients who they could be impacted by a ‘Yes’ vote at September’s referendum.

‘We have maintained a strictly neutral stance on September’s vote. But we do have a duty to ask the questions about how our clients will be affected, positively or negatively, by a potential 'Yes’ vote on Scottish independence,’ Ford wrote.  

‘There are practical questions that need to be considered as we aim to support our clients through potentially very significant change, whilst providing the level of service that they expect.

‘Many of these questions are yet to be answered in detail, and yet would have a huge impact on business in Scotland including on the nation’s significant financial services industry.’

As Scotland’s largest wealth manager with four offices and 350 employees controlling £5 billion, Brewin wants more guidance on how interest rates will be set and how savings and pensions would be taxed in an independent Scotland.

It also wants to know how firms with positions in both Scotland and rest of the UK will be policed and how much this dual regulation is likely to cost.

‘Brewin Dolphin would like more guidance on how interest rates will be set, how savings and pensions will be taxed, and how companies like ours would be regulated, given their position in both Scotland and the rest of the UK, with the costs of dual regulation that this implies,’ Ford said.

‘Will financial services companies have to pay two separate compensation levies, and what will happen to the scheme aimed at auto-enrolling employees into pensions — will they be transferred into a Scottish scheme?’

Ford said the lack of clarity has made it increasingly challenging to plan for clients based in Scotland.

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7 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Douglas A

Apr 28, 2014 at 08:51

Good Luck getting any sort of answer out of the yes campaign.

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tony williams

Apr 28, 2014 at 10:04

Aberdeen asset , I will on principal shift this and move elsewhere. yes vote is unacceptable in todays markets. the uk as a whole stands greate cloutr

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Keith Cobby

Apr 28, 2014 at 10:19

Considering how long the SNP have been pushing for independence you would think they would be better prepared. Of course the rhetoric now has to give way to answering the hard questions about currency, tax, regulation etc.

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Guy Usabreak

May 03, 2014 at 09:57

The chance of getting any sensible positive answers from the Yes Campaign is zero. Rhetoric , ego , unfounded assertions abound at the cost of realistic, logical and well informed fact. Anyone putting forward a positive case for maintaining the United Kingdom as is is shouted down and vilified. Scotland and the Scots thrive in the UK and possibilities are only limited by lack of imagination or ability. For a tiny nation we are in a good place to continue to achieve our aspirations within the UK. no matter the shade of government we opt elect to Westminster.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

May 06, 2014 at 07:32

It is unrealistic to expect definitive answers to detailed questions concerning these matters of law, regulation, economic organisation etc at this stage. I'm sure the pro-Scottish side would love to be able to negotiate these now and offer voters a wholly worked out programme, but the Unionists will not engage in that way until after the vote, as they know that their best defence is fear, to scare voters about the future arrangements being uncertain and therefore dangerous. Businesses just need to have confidence that whatever way Scots vote, both the UK and Scotland, whether one entity or two, will then work out the detailed arrangements and both will have exciting and vibrant futures, whether as one entity or as neighbouring and friendly ones.

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Simon West

May 06, 2014 at 14:47

Whilst it's clear that a currency union between Scotland and the UK is not a option the UK will entertain, there still isn't any clear understanding of the currency the SNP will use should they be successful.

This position is fundamentally dishonest and shows a contempt for the people.

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Peter, Hertfordshire

May 06, 2014 at 15:12

Westminster currently says it will not entertain a currency union, but that should probably be seen as a negotiating position ahead of the referendum and that position might change after a 'Yes' vote. Also remember that an independent Scotland could unilaterally decide to continue using Sterling, either as a short term measure or permanently, if it suited its own interests. It wouldn't necessarily have to do what politicians in Westminster told it to do.

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