Top execs warn against impact of independence on UK economy
According to Interim Partners, senior executives fear that Scottish independence would burden businesses with extra costs and lead to uncertainty and a fall in business investment.
The survey was completed by 500 interim executives, who are managers or senior executives, at or just below board-level, and are recruited on a short- to mid-term basis.
The findings come in the wake of poll results suggesting a significant shift towards a vote for independence.
Interim executives undertake high level roles in many different organisations during their careers, meaning they are uniquely placed to assess the potential impact that Scottish independence could have on different business sectors across the UK.
Adam Kyriacou, partner at Interim Partners, explains, “There is a lot of concern in the business community that a & lsquo;yes’ vote in the referendum would lead to greater costs and few benefits either side of the border. The interim executives we talk to see plenty of downside risk from independence without much on the upside.”
Interim Partners points out that major businesses within sectors in which Scotland has traditionally been very strong – financial services and oil and gas – have publicly expressed concern about the risks to independence from the union, including:
· Standard Life has said that it would consider moving parts of its business elsewhere in the UK.
· Lloyds has raised concerns about the potential impact of independence on compliance costs and its tax position.
· Alliance Trust has begun to set up companies registered in England in anticipation of Scottish Independence to ensure it can provide continuity of service to its customers.
· BP’s boss Bob Dudley has voiced concerns over the impact of independence.
· Shell’s CEO has called for Scotland to remain in the UK for continuity and stability.