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Scottish advisers oppose independence from UK

A majority of Scotland-based financial advisers will be voting ‘no’ in the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence, fearing negative impacts on their businesses, a new survey reveals.

The survey of Scottish advisers, conducted by UK financial services software provider Intelliflo, found that 76 per cent of respondents will vote against the proposition in September, the Financial Times reported.

A further 74 per cent indicated they would like to see Scotland retain the British pound as its currency, while 59 per cent expressed a preference for Scotland to remain in the European Union.

The survey respondents listed compliance issues for existing products as a major risk in the case of Scottish secession, with 54 per cent indicating Scottish independence would have a “negative impact on business”.

Intelliflo chief executive Nick Eatock concurred with a majority of advisers that a ‘yes’ result in the national referendum may have dire consequences for the advice community.

“Advisers who think a positive vote for Scottish independence will leave them with business pretty much as normal could be in for a massive shock post-18 September if the vote is ‘yes’,” Mr Eatock said.

“For advisers, not being prepared could present two risks to business. One is reputational and the other is having a situation where unplanned and unpaid for time is spent reacting to clients in a panic about what to do,” he added.

Meanwhile, Scottish adviser Carl Melvin of Affluent Financial Planning told the Financial Times that the supporters of independence are relying on a “Braveheart mentality” and expressed concern that product manufacturers Standard Life and Alliance Trust may leave the country in the case of a ‘yes’ vote.