Clydesdale Bank to move to Leeds if Scots vote Yes

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CLYDESDALE Bank, the owner of Yorkshire Bank, will re-register as an English company in the event of a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum.

It is believed that the Australian-owned lender would almost certainly be based in Leeds, home of Yorkshire Bank.

A statement from National Australia Bank Group said the move is part of its contingency plans and is designed to provide increased certainty for customers during the independence negotiations and beyond.

David Thorburn, chief executive, said: “Any change to the company’s legal structure would have no impact on the vast majority of the bank’s staff.

“Clydesdale Bank would continue to serve its customers just as it has since 1838 and Glasgow will continue to be the bank’s key operational centre.”

Re-registration in England would be subject to a number of regulatory approvals and other requirements, the timing and cost of which would be determined in due course, said NAB.

Lloyds Bank, which is 25 per cent-owned by the Government and controls Halifax and Bank of Scotland, said its contingency plans included setting up “legal entities in England”, a move that would not affect its business.

Royal Bank of Scotland said it would be necessary to re-domicile its holding company. TSB Banking Group, which is part-owned by Lloyds, said it was likely to relocate some operations to England.

Lloyds’ headquarters are in London but its registered office is in Edinburgh. RBS senior management is based in London but its registered offices are in Edinburgh. Registered office location dictates the tax and legal regime.

Leeds-based supermarket Asda warned of cost implications if Scotland votes for independence saying the company would have to “reflect its cost” to operate north of the border after a Yes vote.