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Wealth managers pull cash from Scotland as ‘Yes’ concerns grow

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Wealth managers are moving client assets out of Scotland as concerns over the result of the 18 September referendum grow, according to reports.

With the vote on Scottish independence now widely viewed as too close to call amid a surge in support for the ‘Yes’ campaign, there are signs clients are becoming more concerned.

In some cases, these concerns have extended to wealth managers themselves: Multrees Investor Services, which manages bank accounts for the industry, told the FT it has moved hundreds of millions of pounds south of the border at wealth managers’ behest.

“They have all been taking action. If our clients are doing it then other financial services companies are doing it as well,” Multrees chief executive Chris Fisher told the paper.

Douglas Connell, senior partner at Edinburgh-based wealth manager Turcan Connell, added there is a “almost a frenzy” among clients wanting to know more about the potential impact of a Yes vote.

Those concerns centre in particular on how client cash in Scottish banks would be effected. But Connell told the paper worries that “some kind of axe” may come down after the referendum were misplaced.

Shares in Scotland-based companies ticked higher yesterday following Monday’s sell-off, with Lloyds Banking Group, for example, rising 1.7 per cent.

The rise came as a note from analysts at Bernstein Research suggested the impact of relocating headquarters to London would have a minimal effect on earnings.

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