Kames Capital’s CEO Martin Davis warned the Scottish independence debate will be much closer than anticipated, resulting in wide and long lasting ramifications for the UK and Europe.
Speaking at the group's annual conference in Edinburgh, the chief executive said the impact of the referendum in September will be felt regardless of the end outcome and it will have a much greater effect on Europe and the UK than currently expected.
"It will be very close and even if it is a ‘No' vote, in the end most of the impact of Scottish independence will come to pass," Davis (pictured) said.
"There will still be ongoing considerations of how business will be conducted north of the border, and the referendum will also have an impact on the general election in the UK."
Although the latest opinion polls by ICM, Scotland on Sunday and the Scotsman show the proportion of the Scottish population planning to vote ‘Yes' falling to 42%, with 58% in the ‘No' camp, Davis believes the split remains far too close to call.
"If it is a ‘Yes' vote, there will be a period of instability and there will be direct ramifications on the UK and the continent, making nations across Europe question how big a state has to be to become independent," the CEO said.
In recent months prominent financial firms such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and BlackRock have warned an independent Scotland could pose a threat to both the UK and Scotland itself.
BlackRock said in a report for clients issued in March Scottish independence would bring "major uncertainties, costs and risks", while RBS is concerned a ‘Yes' vote could "significantly impact the group's credit ratings and could also impact the fiscal, monetary, legal and regulatory landscape".
However, Davis assured clients his firm does not plan to abandon its Edinburgh office, adding that the regulatory and financial impact of Scottish independence on asset managers would be far less severe than that felt by banks and insurance companies.
"We are very confident and comfortable that we are protecting the relationship with our customers and those companies we work with," he said. "We are confident we can find the right people in Scotland and hire the right people to come to Edinburgh."
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