Britain’s banks have been quietly moving millions of banknotes north of the border to cope with any surge in demand by Scots to withdraw cash in the event of a Yes vote in Thursday’s independence referendum, it has emerged.

Sources told The Independent the moves have been taking place over the past week or so in order to make sure ATMs do not run out on Friday in the event of a panic reaction to a “yes” vote. There have been some suggestions that people will want to move their money to English banks in the event of an independence vote.

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The results of the Scottish referendum will start trickling in from as early as 1am on Friday 19 September.

An unofficial estimate puts the announcement between 6.30am and 7.30am, but given the volume of people voting – over four million ballots to be counted – it may be much later on the Friday that we learn the precise result.

Polls open at 7am on Thursday 18 September, closing at 10pm the same day. All 32 regional centres in Scotland will begin counting the votes then.

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The British bank HSBC will pay $550m (£338m) to US regulators to settle claims that it mis-sold mortgage-related bonds between 2005 – 2007 to US mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It is the 16th bank to reach an agreement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) over the issue.

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Ed Miliband today issues the stark threat that manned border posts could be introduced if Scotland backs independence in next week’s historic vote.

With just 11 days to go until the referendum – and polls showing growing momentum for Alex Salmond’s nationalists – the Labour leader has urged voters to face up to the consequences of severing the 300-year-old Union.

‘If you don’t want borders, vote to stay in the United Kingdom,’ Mr Miliband said in an interview with today’s Scottish Mail on Sunday.

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London gangs are drawing up and disseminating lists of teenage girls whom they consider to be legitimate rape targets, as sexual violence is increasingly used to spread fear and antagonise rival groups.

The so-called sket lists (sket is street slang for “sluts”) have, according to youth workers, prompted attacks so brazen that girls have been dragged from school buses and sexually assaulted. Police and charities say they have recorded an increase in the use of sexual violence by gangs, including incidents of revenge rape, where the sisters and girlfriends of rival gang members are targeted. Claire Hubberstey, interim chief executive of Safer London Foundation, a charity working with young people to reduce crime, warns that gangs are using sexual violence in the same way that they use dangerous dogs to parade their masculinity.

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