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Alex Salmond the eternal optimist?

As Alex Salmond sets off on a high visibility attempt to persuade Lloyds Bank to relocate to Scotland you have to admire the leader of the Scottish parliament for his drive and ambition. While he has less than zero chance of persuading Lloyds to move lock stock and barrel to Scotland you have to give him credit for putting his reputation on the line to even try and talk them around.

The real reason he want the bank to relocate to Scotland is because he want to save as many jobs as possible from the old Bank of Scotland group - which is part of the failed HBOS group that Lloyds Bank rescued recently. There is also the issue of Bank of Scotland currency notes which have been printed in Scotland for some time. This is turning into something of a nationalistic battle but one which both sides can probably gain mileage from in the short term.

It seems unlikely, at least for now, that Lloyds Bank will look to lay off thousands of Scottish workers because the heat from the political arena would be too much. However, longer term there is little chance of holding two comparable headquarters within the group with the ultimate eventuality that the Scottish HQ will disappear over the next couple of years when the situation has died down.

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