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Standard Life threat to Scottish indep.

Thursday, February 27 08:22:02

Standard Life PLC said it could move parts of its business away from Scotland if this year's referendum results in Scottish independence in order to protect the interests of its shareholders and customers.

"We will take whatever action we consider necessary -including transferring parts of our operations from Scotland - in order to ensure continuity and to protect the interests of our stakeholders," Chairman Gerry Grimstone said in the company's annual report on Thursday.

Grimstone said the company, which has been based in Scotland for 189 years, wanted clarity from politicians on "material uncertainties" such as what currency Scotland would use and whether agreement and ratification of Scotland's membership to the European Union would be achieved in time.

The Edinburgh-based company said operating profits were down 13 percent to 751 million pounds ($1.25 billion) in the 12 months to 31 December 2013. ( C ) Reuters