Both banks, which are headquartered in Scotland, have revealed that their contingency planning for Scottish independence includes moving operations out of the country and back into the UK.
In a statement issued today, Lloyds said it has plans in place which include “the establishment of new principal legal entities in England”.
It added that, while the scale of potential change is currently unclear, such plans were a legal procedure and will incur no immediate changes or issues affecting customers.
“There will be a period between the referendum and the implementation of separation that we believe should be sufficient to take any necessary action,” it added. “As a group, we are committed to supporting our customers across Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
A spokesperson at RBS said that as part of its contingency planning arising from the referendum’s “material uncertainties”, the company has decided that it would be “necessary” to re-domicile its holding company and operating entity to England in the event of independence.
"Most effective way"
It said that such a move would not affect customers, and would be the “most effective” way to provide stakeholder clarity and mitigate risk.
However, it added that it intends to retain a “significant level of its operations and employment in Scotland to “support its customers there and the activities of the whole bank”.
It comes after Standard Life yesterday issued further details of its plans to move into the UK in the event of Scottish independence.
Chief executive David Nish said that the company’s three priorities were ensuring customers outside of the UK: remain in the UK’s tax regime, continue to be covered by existing consumer protection and regulatory arrangements, and continue to operate transactions in sterling.
It comes after he wrote in his February chief executive’s statement that the company had “started work” to establish additional registered companies to operate outside Scotland.
He said this was a precautionary measure to ensure the “continuity of [Standard Life’s] businesses’ competitive position and to protect the interests of [its] stakeholders”.