Standard Life has begun preparatory work for moving operations from Scotland to England ahead of September’s independence vote.
The group cited as causes for concern the uncertainties over ‘material issues’ including the currency an independent Scotland would use, Scotland’s membership of the European Union, and potential changes to regulation and taxation.
Standard Life therefore confirmed that it had started work as ‘a precautionary measure’ to establish additional registered companies to operate outside Scotland, into which it could transfer parts of its operations if it was necessary to do so.
Chairman Gerry Grimstone (pictured) stressed that Standard Life was ‘strictly apolitical’ and would not give any views on how people should vote. ‘Equally, as one of the largest companies headquartered and based in Scotland, it is appropriate that we have carefully thought through the potential consequences if Scotland were to become an independent nation,’ he added.
Standard Life, which has been based in Scotland for 189 years, also reported its full results for 2013 at the group level.
Assets under administration rose by 12% to £244 billion, driven by net inflows that soared by 92% in 2013 to £9.6 billion.
The company also hiked its final dividend by 8% to 10.58p, equivalent to a total pay-out of £375 million for the year.