Alliance Trust Prepares to Forget Auld Acquaintance

Andrew Sullivan says some providers are querying the wisdom of keeping all your Scotch eggs in one basket

Given the lack of certainty with regard to the outcome of September’s referendum, Dundee-based Alliance Trust has followed fellow Scots providers Standard Life in establishing England-based companies to deal with the event of a vote in favour of Scottish independence.

Yet Aegon, based in Edinburgh, is more relaxed about the overall situation – it believes “there will be a lengthy period between any ‘yes’ vote and actual independence day to resolve these issues and adapt accordingly.”

Katherine Garrett-Cox, CEO of Alliance Trust, is convinced that “it is critical we are able to provide continuity of service and protection for (our customers’) investments and savings. To give them full confidence, we have started work to establish additional companies registered in England in order to provide operational flexibility and to complement our existing business in Scotland. We know that we cannot afford to stand still as change, be it regulatory, political or business-related, is a critical part of the world in which we operate.”

When Standard Life announced its contingency plans in February, it outlined 5 key areas of concern in the event of Scottish independence –

  • ·       an independent Scotland’s currency
  • ·       agreement and ratification of an independent Scotland’s EU membership (due March 24 2016)
  • ·       shape and role of the monetary system
  • ·       financial services regulation and consumer protection
  • ·       individual taxation, particularly vis a vis savings and pensions

Other major Scottish players remain demure about their plans, but further expansion into England and the Republic of Ireland will come as little surprise.


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