George Hay writes about the banking and property sectors. He joined from Thomson Financial News, where he was a companies correspondent. Before that he worked at United Business Media, where he was news editor of Building Magazine. He has a first in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and was nominated in two categories at the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Follow George on Twitter @gfhay
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After the Scottish rejection of independence, the UK prime minister pledged a speedy devolution of more powers. Giving regions greater control of taxes and spending sounds sensible. But the politics and practicalities of knotty issues like devolving borrowing powers will be daunting.
The roughly 55:45 vote against secession in a landmark referendum reduces many risks: financial instability, a UK exit from Europe and a sharp fall in trade. But the bribe to No-voters of more devolved powers creates other dangers – including a weakening of the union.
Big Scottish banks have already moved to calm depositors by outlining plans to redomicile if Scotland chooses independence. But the BoE’s ability to ease market jitters after a Yes vote will be constrained, as it would risk being seen to prejudice UK divorce proceedings.
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- Santander loses a leader and gains an opportunity
- London can devolve only so much power to Edinburgh
- Scottish bank exodus would create new headache
- Standard Life’s strategic revamp gets timely boost
- Markets start to wake up to Scots secession risk