From the NACFB’s London base, we’ve maintained an effort to represent all the corners of the UK as well as we’re able, but now the devolution vote is drawing closer it’s a good time to reassess how a split might affect the commercial finance broker.

Like tearing along a perforation, such a split would follow a predictable course. There is already a huge disparity between the number of NACFB brokers north and south of Gretna Green. Delays in economic growth and shrinkage are also evident. Scotland’s government figures show the country entered recession in Quarter 3 of 2008, two quarters later than the overall UK economy, and that Scotland subsequently returned to growth in Quarter 4 of 2009, one quarter after the UK as a whole. There’s also a policy divide – the Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme boasts of offering the most competitive business tax rates in the UK.

All the time policymakers are making the grass greener on their own side of the fence, there’s a disincentive for a business to move, but you’re only inclined to compare two locations when moving between them is easy and there are enough similarities to bring them together. If Scotland were outside the UK, it might just lead governments on both sides to put less effort into winning the plaudits of SMEs on their own other side of the border. Political parties tend to broadcast comparisons only when the comparison a) serves a purpose and b) works in their favour.

Interestingly, data shows no great difference between the average deal size in Scotland and England. The number of deals in Scotland is out of proportion with the number of active NACFB brokers – more deals per broker – but anecdotally those brokers have to do more homework to place the deal with an active lender. So there is a bit more of a bottleneck effect than further south. I am not at all sure whether devolution would address that, but what is certain is that the NACFB would not be able to work with its existing Scottish brokers in the current way.

You’re probably aware that there has been some argument over the currency which Scotland would adopt or create. The problem here is spelled out in the name "Bank of England". I was at the Bank on 20th May listening to them reveal that "lending to businesses has been weaker than expected" – specifically, but by no means solely, in the country that appears in the bank’s name.

The Bank of England makes its own projections. For example, the base interest rate is likely to climb from 0.5% to 0.75% in the next six to nine months, and could be at 2% in 2017. Other things that have deviated from what was "expected" in these projections are the value of the pound (a bit too high) and overall investment in the UK (too weak). These appear to tie together; the pound (the "English" pound?) is worth too much to give away.

Note also that 15% of all workers in the UK are self-employed. It’s a jarringly high figure if you consider that the previous high was 12% and that peak was reached as long ago as the year 2000. This means commercial finance brokers from Thurso to Trevithick might need to consider tailoring their approach a little more to micro-businesses and a little less to larger companies, as the balance has swung significantly in that direction.

Adam Tyler is chief executive of the NACFB