Lloyds, RBS, Standard Life lead FTSE north after Scots say nae

Banks and insurers based north of the non-border see shares rise as Scotland votes 'nae' to independence.

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 04 Feb 2015

Investors and bankers breathed a sigh of relief this morning on the news that Scotland won’t become another country after all. The FTSE was up 0.75% to 6870 in mid-morning trading, led by a rally in Scottish banks.

RBS led the charge, with a 3.5% boost to 369.9p, while insurance giant Standard Life and Lloyds saw 1.6% and 1.8% gains respectively. The three firms, which between them employ over 32,000 people in Scotland, had each announced they would relocate their headquarters to England in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote.

Now that the independence movement’s supposedly been buried for a generation, the lenders were quick to say that they would be staying put. A Lloyds spokesperson was positively gushing: ‘The group is proud of its strong Scottish heritage and is committed to having a significant presence in Scotland.’

So no hard feelings, eh?

The pound also rallied overnight, as the chances of a Yes vote dwindled. In Asian trading, it reached a ten-month high of $1.6525, having dropped as low as $1.6051 last week. These gains were largely eroded once the European markets opened, however, with the pound standing at $1.6360 mid-morning. Could it be uncertainty over Devo-Max?

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