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New warning from CEO

McEwan: RBS would relocate HQ in independent Scotland

Ross McEwan after 2016 agmRoyal Bank of Scotland would relocate its headquarters if Scotland were to become independent, its chief executive has said.

Ross McEwan said the bank would be “too big” for Scotland, although “moving” its corporate headquarters would have no impact on the 12,000 jobs north of the border.

His comments to some extent echo comments made ahead of the independence referendum in 2014. Analysts said that in the event of another emergency Scotland’s financial system would be too small to support a bank of the size of RBS. The issue was raised publicly at the time by former chairman Sir Philip Hampton.

Mr McEwan has revisited the issue, telling an interviewer this weekend that the bank would have to look seriously at where it was based should Scotland vote for independence.

“We’d have to make the same moves I suspect because the Royal Bank of Scotland, being domiciled in Scotland, would

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just be too big for the economy, even in the shape that we’re building,” he said, referring to the fact that it has shrunk in size considerably in the last two years.

“Two years ago when we had the Scottish referendum, I made it very clear we’d have the people in the right place, that moving the plaque didn’t make any difference to them.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “As RBS has made clear, the location of their ‘brass plaque’ will make no difference to jobs in Scotland.”

Comment: Why it matters where companies are based

Photo: Ross McEwan (by Terry Murden)

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