SCOTTISH Financial Enterprise chairman Ewan Brown has said he has yet to see any evidence that an independent Scotland might bring new opportunities for its finance sector.

The veteran banker was speaking as the industry body has an unusual double gonging today with Mr Brown receiving his knighthood and SFE chief executive Owen Kelly his OBE at the Queen's Birthday Honours investiture in Edinburgh.

"It's quite a rarity for the chairman and chief executive of the same organisation to be honoured at the same investiture on the same day," Mr Brown said yesterday.

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"We would like to feel that with 100,000 people in Scotland there is some recognition of the financial sector and it may not be a coincidence that Gerry Grimstone (chairman of TheCityUK and of Standard Life) is also getting a knighthood."

Mr Brown said that when he and Sir Angus Grossart (knighted in 1997) started "a wee merchant bank" in 1969 (Noble Grossart) a double knighthood "wasn't in our minds".

Mr Kelly said: "Ewan's work and generosity across business, education, the arts and charitable causes has quite rightly been recognised."

On criticism of SFE for articulating supposedly negative views of the sector's prospects in the event of a Yes vote, Mr Brown said: "I have formally asked people for identification of new opportunities, but we haven't heard anything back."

He said a major concern being expressed to him was the length of time that any transition might take. "The difficulty of the Scottish Government position is they have picked a date which is very arbitrary and we haven't seen any argument as to why it can be done by then.

"The only way it could happen is if everything were agreed before the UK election."

Mr Brown said the financial sector would also have a concern in the event of a close No vote.

"Depending on how the Scottish Government responds, members could feel it could all happen again in a few years' time."