* CEO McEwan hasn't discussed moving HQ with Minister Cable
* McEwan "pragmatic when it comes to pay"
By Matt Scuffham and Steve Slater
LONDON, Feb 12 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
will adapt its business in the event of Scots voting for
independence from the rest of the United Kingdom, its Chief
Executive Ross McEwan said on Wednesday.
However, McEwan played down comments from UK Business
Minister Vince Cable suggesting it was inevitable the bank would
relocate its headquarters from Edinburgh to London in the event
of a "yes" vote.
"It's really important that the Scottish people get the
opportunity to vote, and then if I need to adapt my business to
serve England, Scotland, Wales and both the Republic of Ireland
and Northern Ireland, then I will," McEwan said in a Q&A on the
website of the Guardian newspaper.
"Mr Cable and I have not talked about moving our head
office," he added.
McEwan's comments followed reports that Britain will warn
Scots that they cannot have a currency union with the rest of
the United Kingdom if they vote for independence in a September
RBS, Bank of Scotland-owner Lloyds Banking Group
and other major financial institutions based in Edinburgh have
begun contingency planning in the event of a vote for
independence, Reuters reported on Friday.
Industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday a key part of
contingency planning is what they will do in the event of a
currency union not being agreed. One source said an option for
financial services firms based in Edinburgh would be to relocate
their registered offices to London but retain operations in the
RBS, Lloyds and Standard Life declined to comment.
McEwan also said RBS would pay bonuses to help retain top
bankers, despite analysts expecting the bank to report a loss of
between 7 billion pounds ($11.5 billion) and 8 billion for 2013
later this month, its sixth successive annual loss.