Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Banking In An Independent Scotland
The news that Sainsbury is to take full control of the joint banking venture it established with the Bank of Scotland 16 years ago brought to mind a conversation I had with a friend recently.
She's a widow and lives in an attractive bungalow. Her husband and herself worked hard all their working lives to provide for a comfortable retirement, but sadly he died just five years after he finally called it a day in his industry. They had no children but for 15 years they were the (unpaid) carers for the husband's father and also my friend's mother. It wasn't an easy task juggling the care schedule, travelling at all hours between two homes miles apart and working long hours in their respective jobs.
We seldom discuss personal finances, but the other day she asked me if I knew anything about how Scottish banks - the likes of RBS - would survive should we become independent. She is a supporter of Scottish independence and like me, feels that with effort, an independent Scotland would thrive.
Her one concern is her savings and he announced she was moving her money from the RBS to an 'English' bank this week. We then had a lengthy discussion about her reasons and the main one was that she was unsure her money would be safe for the first few years of independence if it was left under Scottish jurisdiction.
Her decision made me wonder how many other people will move their money out of Scotland in an attempt to ensure it holds its value. I was able to say that at the present rate of interest any invested savings are depreciating and I didn't consider an English bank would provide better than a Scottish one.
She wasn't convinced and is sticking to her decision. The talk about monetary union with the Bank of England was also part of her decision.
The Yes campaign haven't lost a vote (yet), but they really need to start addressing the people who have put a little aside to help in their later years.