More than £9billion of financial exports from Scotland to the rest of the UK are at risk under SNP plans to scrap the pound.
New analysis of official Scottish Government figures show that the country’s successful financial services sector is the largest export market to the rest of the UK.
Exports of financial services were valued at £9.1billion in 2017, up £1.2billion (15 per cent) from the previous year.
That is more than the £3.7billion food and drink export sales to the rest of the UK, and equivalent to around two-thirds of the entire annual budget for Scotland’s NHS.
A new Scottish currency would have significant implications for trade in goods and services, particularly including financial services.
RBS would move its HQ to London if Scotland becomes independent because the bank would be too big for the Scottish economy, former chief executive Ross McEwan recently said. Other large financial institutions are also likely to follow suit.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“These official SNP figures show the strength of Scotland’s successful financial services market, delivering a major boost for our economy.
“We are stronger together as part of the UK, with financial services firms in Edinburgh and Glasgow benefitting from being part of the UK home market and using the British pound.
“Scexit would put billions of pounds of financial exports to the rest of the UK at risk, particularly with the SNP’s plan to scrap the pound.
“As part of the UK, Scotland’s economy has greater protection from shocks; we would be gambling with people’s livelihoods by scrapping the pound and using a new currency.
“Scotland’s economy needs a prolonged period of certainty to allow it to grow and prosper, which is why we should save the pound and grow our financial services industry by remaining part of the UK.”
Professor Ronald Macdonald, research professor of macroeconomics and international finance at the University of Glasgow, said:
“A separate Scottish currency, floating freely on foreign exchange markets, is not an option that can be kicked into the long grass as supporters of independence seem to think.
“A separate Scottish currency at a sharply depreciated value is an inevitable consequence of independence from its inception.
“This in turn would clearly have stark implications for an independent Scotland's trade in goods and services with the rest of the UK.”