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Scottish Independence: Country's Banks Won't Be Bailed Out Unless it Keeps the PoundReuters

The National Institute of Social and Economic Research has revealed that Scottish banks would not be bailed out in the event of independence unless the country maintains a currency union with the UK.

Scotland would have to create its own "lender of last resort" if it were to implement a unilateral "Sterlingisation" of its currency without the backing of a central bank.

The Scottish National Party's leader Alex Salmond has repeatedly said that the country would keep the pound in the event of independence, despite all UK political parties ruling this out.

Salmond was recently asked directly what his plans were if the Scottish government were to be denied the use of sterling as a currency, in a torrid live TV head-to-head with former Chancellor and the head of the Better Together campaign, Alastair Darling. Salmond simply said, "we are keeping the pound".

"The reason we are keeping the pound in a currency union, and the reason we are so unambiguous about it, is because we are appealing to the greatest authority of all, that is the sovereign will of the people of Scotland," said Salmond in the debate with Darling.

"After a 'Yes' vote in the referendum, I am sure that Johann Lamont will be among those who accept that sovereign will of the people of Scotland. It is Scotland's pound. It doesn't belong to George Osborne, it doesn't belong to Ed Balls.

"It's Scotland's pound and we are keeping it."

In an attempt to close the gaps in Salmond's argument, the NIESR said it was considering the effects "Sterlingisation", whereby an independent Scotland kept the pound without having a a formal agreement with the rest of the UK and without the Bank of England as lender of last resort.

However, the NIESR warned that this could have severe repercussions on Scotland's financial sector and its capacity to export financial services. Under those sorts of circumstances, creating a "lender of last resort may involve terms that are unlikely to be acceptable to an independent government".

Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum on 18 September, 2014, and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The referendum period started on 30 May.