GO
Loading...

Chief executives: Scottish independence is bad for business

A shopkeeper erects a British Union flag next to Scottish Saltire flag as he prepares the front of his store for business
Simon Dawson/Bloomberg | Getty Images
A shopkeeper erects a British Union flag next to Scottish Saltire flag as he prepares the front of his store for business

The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the U.K.'s largest listed company, has become the latest chief executive to wade in on the Scottish independence debate by saying he would like the region to remain part of the U.K..

Speaking at a private stakeholder reception, Ben van Beurden said Scotland's split from the U.K. would hinder economic competitiveness and investment stability.

Van Beurden also said he wanted Britons to vote to stay in the European Union, for similar reasons.

(Read more: Scotland's Salmond: blocking pound will hurt UK)

"The chief reason we're in favor of the U.K. maintaining its long-established place at the heart of the European Union: it provides greater investment stability and certainty," said van Beurden

"It's for similar reasons that we'd like to see Scotland remain part of the United Kingdom," he said.

"Shell has a long history of involvement in the North Sea – and therefore in Scotland – and we have continued to invest heavily there," he added.

(Read more: Carney to Scotland: Be careful what you wish for)

Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell
Munshi Ahmed | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell

His comments follow those of David Nish, CEO of Scottish based insurer Standard Life, who said he is preparing to shift business elsewhere if voters opt for independence from the U.K. in the upcoming referendum, due to take place in September.

Nish said "material issues" remain uncertain, including whether Scotland could keep the pound and retain European Union membership, plus rules on financial services, customer protection and the tax regime.

"We have started work to establish additional registered companies to operate outside Scotland, into which we could transfer parts of our operations if it was necessary to do so," Nish said in a statement in the Edinburgh-based company's annual report.

(Read more: Case for Scottish independence doesn't stack up: Osborne)

Last month, BP chief Bob Dudley executive also stepped into the debate by saying he did not want to see Scotland "drift away" from the U.K.

He claimed "all businesses have a concern" about the referendum and his company would almost certainly face higher costs amid currency uncertainty that could inhibit future investment.

Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays have also addressed the independence vote debate in their annual reports, suggesting the uncertainty of the move could damage business, increase costs and create instability in financial markets.

Lloyds has 18,000 Scottish staff and Standard Life employs 5,000 people in the region.

Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland leading the independence campaign, has faced criticism following the comments, as the move could threaten thousands of Scottish jobs.

He insisted that Scotland would remain "a good place to do business and a more competitive place to do business" after a yes vote after Standard Life's suggestions of relocation.

"My submission would be that Standard Life would find Scotland a good place to do business, as it does in 10 countries around the world," he said at the time.

By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave: Follow her onTwitter @jenny_cosgrave

Contact Europe News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.
    › Learn More

Europe Video