Sept 4 (Reuters) - Scotland is set to vote on Sept. 18 on whether to sever its 307-year-old ties with England and break up the United Kingdom, with latest opinion polls indicating support for Scottish independence at its highest level ever. .
More than 130 business leaders signed a letter last week calling for the UK to stay together, while about 200 business leaders are standing firm on the other side of the debate. (bit.ly/1sYUlXD)
Following are comments of Britain’s top companies on the Scottish referendum over the past few months:
If Scots vote to break up the UK, it would cost everybody money, says Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at fund supermarket and financial advisor Hargreaves Lansdown Plc .
Lloyds Banking Group Plc is considering having its registered office in London rather than Edinburgh should Scots vote for independence, according to sources. Bank of Scotland, which is owned by Lloyds, would operate from Edinburgh as a foreign division of the business.
Exova Group Plc CEO cautions that a vote in favour of a split would result in some short-term uncertainty for its regional business. The material testing services provider says could easily shift its small head-office out of Edinburgh, if needed.
Uncertainty over Scotland’s currency arrangements could prompt capital flight, leaving its financial system in a “parlous state”, writes Douglas Flint, chairman of HSBC Holdings Plc.
Edinburgh-based John Menzies Plc says to wait for the outcome of the vote to decide whether to make any changes.
UK insurer Prudential Plc says to continue operating in Scotland and fulfilling its obligations irrespective of the outcome of the vote.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc says considering its options as a ‘yes’ vote would have implications for its credit rating, taxes and regulation.
BAE Systems Plc chief executive says a split could complicate the issue of pension schemes and would force Europe’s biggest defence contractor to talk to its major UK customers.
Kingfisher Plc’s chief executive says the home improvement retailer’s DIY chain, B&Q, would not leave the region in case of a vote for independence.
Oil services company Amec Plc says hasn’t made any specific treasury planning and will wait for the outcome of the referendum.
Edinburgh-based insurer Standard Life Plc says has started detailed preparations to potentially move some operations out of Scotland if Scots vote for independence.
Aggreko Plc, the world’s biggest temporary power provider, warns it would have to split its UK business in half, leading to significant costs, if Scots vote for independence.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, a key player in the North Sea oil and gas fields off Scotland, cautions that a vote for independence could mean greater uncertainty for the energy industry.
State-backed Lloyds Banking Group Plc says it could face significant cost increases if Scotland votes to become independent.
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA chief executive says Scottish independence would be “slightly positive” as an independent Scotland could move to eventually abolish air passenger duty. IAG owns British Airways.
Ryanair Holdings Plc's CEO supports Scottish government's intentions to abolish air passenger duty if the United Kingdom was split. (bbc.in/1qy7SFZ)
BP Plc chief executive warns that Scottish independence could cause his company “uncertainties”.
Compiled by Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila