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RBS shifting Scottish customers to prepare for new independence referendum

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is moving its Scottish customers into a separate subsidiary, as it braces for the potential separation of Scotland from the U.K., The Times reported Aug. 6.

The subsidiary will use the license held by private banking unit Adam & Co, the newspaper said.

The move is in addition to the legal restructuring the bank is carrying out to comply with ring-fencing regulations, which require banks to separate domestic high street lending from cross-border international investment banking, according to the report. Such a move will make it easier to deal with the fallout of a decision by Scotland to leave the union.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sees a second referendum on Scottish independence happening in 2021. Previously, she had wanted a referendum in autumn 2018, or spring 2019, but her party, the Scottish National Party, lost 21 seats in the recent U.K. general election.