A former risk manager for Lloyds Banking Group today hit back at No campaign scaremongering, stressing that a Yes vote on Thursday will have ‘no impact’ on staff or customers in Scotland.
Edward McDowell said he felt compelled to speak out after a welter of false claims that ‘technical adjustments’ by banks would lead to jobs and investment losses.
He said: “It is my considered opinion that a successful Scottish banking sector would be secure in an independent Scotland.”
Mr McDowell, who has nearly 40 years’ experience in the banking sector, said claims by Deutsche Bank that independence “could trigger a great depression” were disingenuous, adding: “They do not take account of Scotland’s strong fiscal position or well established institutions and I believe is another example of misleading information.”
And he said No campaign claims that banks moving their registered offices would threaten jobs Scotland as ‘completely inaccurate’.
He said: “One of the major banks has already confirmed that any potential movement would purely be of a technical nature and the part publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland have issued a personal communication, to all employees, confirming that independence would have no impact on jobs in Scotland.’
Mr McDowell worked in the banking industry in Scotland and Northern Ireland until his retirement last year, holding a number of senior positions across the Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds. His roles included Regional Manager Mortgage Desks (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Regional Agency Manager (Scotland and Northern Ireland) and most recently Regional Risk Manager Scotland West.
He said: “In my considered opinion the possible moving of the Banks Registered Offices to London, following a Yes vote, will have no impact on the people of Scotland or the staff employed by the banks.
“It is important to remember that the head offices of most banks are already based in London or are part of multi-nationals with head offices outwith the UK.”
Ian Blackford, who formerly ran Deutsche operations in n both Scotland and the Netherlands, also dismissed the bank’s claims.
He said: “I think people need to remember that this is the bank that failed to forecast the crash in 2008 and what they are saying now is preposterous.
“RBS and others have said there is no risk to jobs or investment in Scotland. It is about moving the brass plates and the fact is that this all about the UK Government’s panic over the real possibility of it losing the union.”
In terms of fluctuations in money and stock markets, Mr Blackford said: “Markets always react to progressive change.”