With the vote for Scottish Independence scheduled for 18th September 2014, a number of clients have contacted us where they hold investments with providers based north of the border. The question is whether they should be concerned in the event of a “yes” vote and whether they need to take any action.
Clearly recent opinion polls have shown the two campaigns are very close in terms of intended votes and the result is too close to call.
Whatever the outcome of the vote, there could be volatility in stock markets in the short term. Indeed the share prices of Scottish based companies have been volatile in recent days. It is important to remember, however, that the overwhelming majority of our clients are invested in funds which hold a variety of diverse holdings such as shares and bonds. This helps to spread the risk and fund performance is usually not directly dependent on the share performance of the product provider.
Most Scottish based companies such as Banks and Insurance Companies have made contingency plans to have the option to relocate their registered offices to England, in the event of a “yes” vote. This includes Lloyds Bank which owns the Halifax and Scottish Widows and Royal Bank of Scotland which owns Nat West. Standard Life have made similar arrangements.
While there may be market volatility following the vote, in view of the fact that the institutions have made contingency plans and that most clients are invested in funds for the medium to long term, we have been telling clients that they should stay with their current strategy and product provider for the time being.
As this blog may be read by many people with varying individual circumstances, it is not intended as specific advice to any individual. If you wish to consider your own situation in more detail, please contact your usual adviser at Chadwicks.