Scottish Independence: UK Financial Services Head and BoE Warn of Scotland's Non-Authorised Pound Use Damaging Industry
Scottish Independence: UK Financial Services Head and BoE Warn of Scotland's Non-Authorised Pound Use Damaging IndustryReuters

The head of Scotland's financial services industry has warned politicians that if the country uses the pound without authorisation from the rest of the UK in the event of independence, then it could threaten the stability of the rest of the country.

Speaking at the British parliament's Scottish Affairs Select Committee, Owen Kelly, chief executive of the Scottish Financial Enterprise, said that an independent of Scotland's use of Sterling would not only endanger industry stability, it would also precipitate the expensive creation of a Scottish financial services regulator.

"It would be hard to imagine the industry as it currently exists and it would have to reconfigure to that new economic environment," said Kelly.

"It's an open question whether you could continue to serve UK customers from another jurisdiction."

Meanwhile Andrew Bailey, deputy governor of the Bank of England and head of its regulatory arm, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), added to Kelly's concerns and warned that an independent Scotland is unlikely to share a regulator.

"It is not a system I observe operating in any other part of the world that has a major financial system," said Bailey.

"It would require very careful thought about how the single regulator would go about managing that."

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

However, over the last two months, Britain's main political parties - the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, and Labour - have united in a bid to demolish the Scottish National Party's promise that an independent Scotland will keep the pound.

UK Chancellor George Osborne has explicitly said that "Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the pound."

SNP members have branded the comments as "bullying."