THE Royal Bank of Scotland would move out of Scotland after nearly 300 years if the country votes for independence, it has confirmed.
CEO Alison Rose said the bank, which last year changed its name from RBS Group to NatWest, would move its headquarters out of Scotland if the country backs a Yes vote.
RBS said ahead of the 2014 independence referendum that it would move its HQ to London – and Ms Rose announced that it still the bank’s position just days before the Scottish parliamentary election on May 6.
As reported by Reuters, Ms Rose said, despite the bank being “neutral” on independence, its “balance sheet would be too big” for the Scottish economy if the country breaks away from the UK.
State-backed NatWest has been based for 294 years in Edinburgh.
Ms Rose said: “In the event that there was independence for Scotland our balance sheet would be too big for an independent Scottish economy.
“And so we would move our registered headquarters, in the event of independence, to London.”
Ms Rose, who became CEO in 2019, added: “We are neutral on the issue of Scottish independence. It’s something for the Scottish people to decide.”
Investment bank Morgan Stanley this week put the chance of Scottish independence at 15 per cent, while rival Citi put it as high as 35 per cent.