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Scottish investment trusts : prospect and retrospect

Draper, P and Stevens, J (1984) Scottish investment trusts : prospect and retrospect. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 9 (3). pp. 73-71. ISSN 0306-7866

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In late 1982 - early 1983, there was considerable disquiet within Scottish financial circles over the ffuture of Investment Trusts under Scottish stewardship. Coming as it did after an abortive takeover for the Royal Bank and the controversial takeover of Anderson Strathclyde, the reaction may have been understandable. Suspicions or an English conspiracy were aired by an eager financial press and "concern" was rumoured to be the order of the day at St Andrews House. However, in terms of assets under management, Scotland emerged at the end of 1983 with a similar proportion of the UK total as existed at the beginning of the year. Thus, although the implications of any "threat" to Investment Trusts can be argued to be starker for the Scottish economy, it should be clear that any conspiracy which does exist has no particular Scottish dimension. The problems facing trusts exist irrespective of geographical location; the overall pressure to contract is likely yo continue and it is highly probable that the casualty list, on both sides of the border, will grow. It is this disturbing trend, the reasons for it, and how it might be reversed that this paper seeks to explore.