Will an Independent Scotland Affect My Personal Finances?

January 9, 2014

The New Year heralds a hugely exciting 12 months ahead for Scotland which sees sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup land on Tartan soil.

But, more importantly, the New Year could also be the precursor of a new Scotland as Scots finally get to vote on their country’s independence.

Whether you’re intending to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the upcoming referendum, it seems there is slight consternation of how an independent Scotland will affect personal finance. Will it have any effect on personal debt levels and consumer spending?

We’ve pinpointed the key queries regarding an independent Scotland to help shed more light on what a break-away from the United Kingdom might mean for your pocket…

Will I still have access to a wide choice of financial products and services?

Yes. The EU Single Market ensures that products can be sold across borders, meaning consumers should be able to choose products and services which have been designed by companies anywhere in the EU.

Will Scottish independence affect my mortgage rate?

A common question due to misconceptions over the Bank of England base rate; the answer is no, it will have no effect. Scottish mortgage rates would continue to be based on the interest rate set by the Bank of England which, in a Sterling Area, will be exactly the same for Scotland as for the rest of the UK.

How would an independent Scotland use tax powers?

Independence will make the Scottish Parliament responsible for its own finances and Scotland will be able to move away from the UK tax system and develop a simpler tax system for the Scottish economy alone.

What will happen to the State Pension Age in an independent Scotland?

This is yet to be proposed. Under current Westminster Government plans, the State Pension Age will increase to 67 for people aged between 44 and 53, over a two year period between 2026 and 2028. The Scottish Government is unsure whether this increase is right for Scotland. A key reason for this is that Scots currently enjoy fewer years in retirement. In 2013, life expectancy at age 65 was 1.2 years higher in the UK than in Scotland for women; and 1.3 years higher for men.

Will I still have access to banks and banking services based in the UK?

Yes. Whether you are a business or individual customer, you will continue to have access to banks and banking services in an independent Scotland, just as you do now.