Regulation  

Senior planner scotches ScotPound concept

Senior planner scotches ScotPound concept

A think-tank’s proposal to create a new Scottish Pound has been met with scorn by a senior financial planner.

Jeff Lewis, director for Edinburgh-based Robson Macintosh, said the idea of having a separate Scottish currency was a “ridiculous idea”.

Mr Lewis disagreed with social and economic think-tank New Economics Foundation, which claimed that a new ‘ScotPound’ would help stimulate business and spending.

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According to NEF, the new national digital currency would be created alongside a free-at-point-of-use payment system, ScotPay. ScotPound would be non-convertible and purely digital, operated through an arm’s-length public enterprise – BancaAlba.

NEF claimed that a 250 ScotPound dividend could be given to each citizen, helping to boost purchasing power, while the ScotPay payment system would help businesses to accept payment for goods and services without being charged fees by banks and global credit card firms.

However, Mr Lewis said: “Creating a Scottish currency idea is one sure way of all cash being held in Sterling. It is a ridiculous idea dreamt up by people I believe without an O-level in economics; either that or they wish to dismantle a hugely successful Scottish Financial services industry.”

Background

In 2014, 55 per cent of Scottish people backed the campaign to keep the Union together in a referendum. At the time, fierce contention that Scotland could break way from the UK and remain financially independent was met with fear from many large financial services companies.

Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank had threatened to ditch their Scottish headquarters and operate out of London if the separatists carried the day.