Will your savings be safe if Scotland goes its own way? Potentially not given the announcements in the past few days regarding restrictions on savings for Scots and a potential run on the banks.
Financial experts have commented that this will close off opportunities for Scottish savers and that we only have to look to the financial crisis of 2008 to see that there is safety in being a part of a bigger union.
The Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Cathy Jamieson, said, “It was only because we were part of the UK that the savings of Scots were secured. Separation would put that at risk. People who have worked hard and put a little bit by for a rainy day shouldn’t have to take a risk with their savings because of Alex Salmond’s obsession with independence.”
Jamieson’s comments come on the back of an announcement from NS&I that stated Scottish savers would be barred from buying premium bonds after independence. Additionally, they would not be allowed to add to their existing investments with them.
This will not go down well with the 1.6million Scots who have invested in the Treasury-backed products for the past 60 years since they launched.
NS&I have confirmed that Scots would be treated like any other person residing in a foreign country in the event of a Yes vote.
“In terms of what would happen after a potential Yes vote, as for any new customer we would say just as we would to a French man or woman – you need a UK bank account,” a spokesperson said.
As Chancellor George Osborne has categorically ruled out sharing the pound with Scotland, analysts at UBS say that a lack of a currency union with the UK would mean deposits would flow out of Scotland and into the rest of the UK, with devastating consequences. With Scotland not remaining part of the Sterling Monetary Framework, the Bank of England would no longer be a lender of last resort to Scottish banks.
“It probably does not matter that the Bank of England will act as lender of last resort during the 18-month transition period, history has shown that small depositors will queue to withdraw their money from a bank even when those deposits are fully guaranteed,” UBS said.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Research Society, a group opposed to Scottish independence, says:
“Scots need a peace of mind that their hard-earned money is safe-guarded and is going to be there for them when they need it. Imagine if we had to face another financial crisis on our own, without a safety net? That’s like bungee jumping without a rope – you’re taking a leap into the unknown and just hoping for the best, while everyone around you knows your fate is sealed. We have the chance to avoid this fate if voters make the right decision on September 18th and vote NO to independence.”