EDINBURGH, September 13 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – The First Minister of Scotland and leader of the pro-Scottish independence campaign, Alex Salmond, has accused the UK government of an "abuse of political power" and repeated his call for an investigation into the leaking of "market sensitive information" by the Treasury to the BBC.
On Saturday the BBC themselves confirmed the Treasury had passed information – about plans being made by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to move its registered office to London in the event of a Yes vote following next Thursday's Scottish independence referendum – before the bank had formally made the decision.
"In my view RBS are blameless in this matter and have acted entirely properly, indeed there is an argument that they have been subjected to the same pressure and abuse of political power which has been aimed at the people of Scotland," Salmond said in a statement issued to the media Saturday.
The UK Government has a majority shareholding in RBS and any leaking of market sensitive information would be a breach of financial regulations governing how the markets operate.
"We now have the most dramatic confirmation that information was released to the media by the Treasury during RBS's board meeting, while it was considering contingency planning and market sensitive announcements," Salmond said in the statement issued.
"This is an extraordinary development and indicates the Treasury's fingerprints all over banking sector announcements. It is now imperative that there should be an inquiry into the full circumstances of this release. Who approved it - was it an official or a minister?" Salmond added.