RBS warns Scottish independence impact

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RBS Reuters Pedestrians are reflected in the window of a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in London. Picture: Suzanne Plunkett

London - Royal Bank of Scotland said on Friday that a vote by Scotland to become independent from the rest of the United Kingdom could significantly increase its costs and have a material impact on its business.

RBS, which is 81 percent-owned by the British government, said earlier in the year that it was considering its options should Scots vote to end the 307-year union.

The bank has been careful not to enter the political debate over Scottish independence, repeatedly saying that the matter is one for the Scottish people to decide.

However, it outlined the potential risks arising from a 'yes' vote alongside its first half results on Friday.

The bank had also warned about the matter alongside its 2013 results.

RBS said a vote for independence “could significantly impact the group's costs and would have a material adverse effect on the group's business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects”.

It said that uncertainties resulting from a 'yes' vote would be likely to significantly impact its credit ratings and “could also impact the fiscal, monetary, legal and regulatory landscape to which the group is subject”.

Scotland will hold a referendum to decide whether to end its 307-year union with England on September 18.

Recent polls have suggested Scottish separatists are closing the gap on their unionist rivals. - Reuters

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