A large majority of UK finance professionals are unconvinced about the economic arguments for Scottish independence, a new poll from specialist financial services recruiter Marks Sattin has revealed.
As Umbrella Company Employees contracting in financial services north of the border will be aware, the Scottish finance industry is one of the strongest in the whole of the UK, growing by 23% since 2007; the UK national average is 20%. Over the last seven years the number of new jobs and contracts in Scottish financial services has burgeoned from 134,000 to 165,000 in 2013.
In the Mark Sattin survey of 354 UK finance professionals, just 11% agreed that Scottish independence would bring economic benefits. An additional 22% neither agreed nor disagreed with arguments in favour of a yes vote, with the rest of the respondents against independence.
Dave Way, managing director of Marks Sattin, said that most finance professionals were in agreement that “the numbers don’t stack up” in favour of a yes vote. He said: “Scotland’s financial services sector has clearly thrived in recent years, increasing by a quarter since 2007. While the tangible impact of an independent Scotland remains to be seen, there are clearly question marks shrouding the potential impact on financial services and the prospects for continued growth.”
That said, Mr Way conceded that a vote for independence may unleash a transient hiring drive amongst finance firms to manage the immediate economic changes, such as currency issues, exchange rates, interest rates, and wider business finance.
Significant fiscal and monetary expertise would be needed to establish Scotland as an independent nation, Mr Way added.