LONDON (Reuters) - At the heart of the debate about whether or not Scotland can prosper as an independent country, ahead of a vote on Sept. 18, is the issue of what would happen to its financial services industry.
The sector generates between 7 billion and 9 billion pounds ($11 billion to $14 billion) and directly employs around 100,000 people, said Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), an independent body representing Scotland’s financial industry.
Below are other statistics on the industry from a variety of official sources:
- The Scottish banking industry accounts for 13 percent of all banking employment in the UK - SFE.
- The Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, part of Lloyds Banking Group, and Clydesdale Bank are all permitted to print banknotes, a practice that dates back as far as 1695 - SFE.
- In 1875 the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland was founded, making it the world’s oldest professional body for practicing bankers - SFE.
- Lloyds Banking Group currently employs 16,000 staff in Scotland. RBS employs 12,000.
- Bank of Scotland has 293 branches. RBS has 290.
- The UK insurance industry is the third-largest in the world and the largest in Europe, employing 320,000 people, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said. They gave no details for the size of the Scottish insurance industry.
- Standard Life, Scottish Widows, part of Lloyds Banking Group, and Scottish Life, part of the Royal London life and pensions group, are among the leading industry employers in Scotland.
- Founded in Edinburgh in 1825, Standard Life, with a market capitalization of around 10 billion pounds, is the largest insurer based in Scotland. It employs 5,500 people in the UK, of which 5,000 are based in Scotland. About 90 percent of its UK customers live outside Scotland.
- Scottish Life, founded in 1881, employs 1,200 people in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The majority of its customers live outside Scotland. Its funds are run from London.
- Scottish Widows, founded in 1812, is one of the UK’s largest corporate pension providers, with around 2 million pension savers.
- The insurance industry presence in Scotland dates back to the early 1700s when marine insurance was written for the country’s export and import companies - SFE.
- Seventy percent of all pension products bought by Scottish consumers are from firms based in the rest of the UK - UK government.
- At least 500 funds, excluding investment trusts and exchange-traded funds, are run by money managers based in Scotland, Thomson Reuters data shows.
- Assets managed in Scotland were estimated at 560 billion pounds in 2013, 11 percent of the UK’s total 5 trillion pounds, data from the Investment Management Association showed.
- Assets managed by firms based in Scotland estimated at 571 billion pounds, or 26 percent of the total managed by UK-headquartered firms - IMA.
- The majority of UK assets, between 65 percent and 75 percent, are managed by London-based groups - IMA
- UK industry headcount estimated at 30,800, of which 15 percent is employed in Scotland, unchanged from 2011 - IMA
- Robert Fleming launched the use of investment trusts in the 1870s as a vehicle for world-wide collective investment. The primary investors were the owners of the Dundee based jute industry who wanted to invest their profits - SFE.
- Sixty hedge funds were based in Scotland at the end of July, managing combined assets of $36.7 billion, data from industry tracker Eurekahedge showed.
- The biggest mutual fund run out of Scotland is Standard Life Investment’s Global Absolute Return Strategies fund, which has $35.8 billion in assets under management.
- Forty-eight percent of Scottish adults have an Individual Savings Account, which benefits from UK tax relief. After any independence vote, ISAs would not be available in their current form, the UK government has said. ($1 = 0.6187 British Pounds)
Editing by Giles Elgood