HSBC Chief Says Scotland Currency Independence Could Spook Investors

Uncertainty over Scotland’s currency arrangements could prompt capital flight from the country, leaving its financial system in a “parlous state”, the chairman of HSBC bank has warned.

Douglas Flint said the sterling currency union was the anchor from which Scotland derived its economic success and financial stability. Scottish-born Flint, chairman of Europe’s biggest bank, said in a column in the Daily Telegraph that the decision by three major political parties to rule out a currency union with an independent Scotland was “wholly consistent with the actions that have been taken in the aftermath of the financial crisis” and “with the knowledge gained from recent events in the eurozone”.

He added that the insistence by Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, that Scotland would keep the pound in the event of a yes vote would expose Scotland if the country adopted sterling unilaterally without a currency agreement. He said: “Scotland would be faced with monetary policy implementation without representation – a very odd form of independence.”

He added: “At the extreme, uncertainty over Scotland’s currency arrangements could prompt capital flight from the country, leaving its financial system in a parlous state.”

The question of whether Scotland could keep the pound if it voted on 18 September to leave the UK has hampered independence campaigners. The British government has said no and the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has warned of difficulties in monetary union.

via The Guardian

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza