Britain's biggest companies could be forced to give investors an assessment of the risks arising from Scottish independence. Lawyers have told directors of major companies they should consider including an update on the impact that a "yes" vote in favour of independence would have on their operations. Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland have already launched internal reviews into the impact of independence, though it is not certain whether either will include an update when their full-year results are published in February. Including a formal update on the impact of independence in an annual report would raise awareness of the issue with international investors in major UK companies. The risk sections in annual reports are seen as an important source of information for shareholders on the biggest problems facing a business. According to the legal assessment of the in-house lawyers at one major FTSE 100 company, seen by The Daily Telegraph , the Scottish vote will almost certainly have to be included in the risk factors as an issue that could raise questions about the "future developments" facing the company. Financial services companies, which are among Scotland's largest employers, are likely to be among the hardest hit by independence. Fund manager Hargreaves Lansdown warned last month that the cost of setting up a separate Scottish financial regulator and pensions body could mean lower returns for pensioners and bank customers because of higher regulatory costs. Supermarkets have also been looking at the issue and earlier this month Asda and Morrisons said they would pass on the expected extra costs of operating in an independent Scotland to customers. Newly appointed trade minister Lord Livingston said this week that many businesses were afraid to speak up, but warned that independence would damage Scotland's trading relations.
Most Popular Stories
- Koch Brothers Step up Anti-Obamacare Campaign
- FDIC Sues Big Banks Over Rate Manipulation
- Stocks Close Lower Ahead of Crimea Vote
- FDIC Accuses Big Banks of Fraud, Conspiracy
- Jittery Investors Dumping Russian Stocks
- U.S. Consumer Sentiment Falls in Early March
- Is Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in Andaman Sea?
- Ulta Shares Look Good on Strong Q4
- Vybz Kartel Convicted of Murder
- JLo Turns the Tables in New Vid: 'I Luh Ya Papi'