Kamal Ahmed

Kamal Ahmed Business editor

Welcome to the Business Blog – my latest take on the major business stories and analysis of the facts behind the headlines

Banks lead business reaction to the Scottish referendum

19 September 2014
RBS HQ
RBS will remain at its registered headquarters at St Andrew's Square in Edinburgh

Sterling wasn't the only thing with a spring in its step this morning. Business leaders who had expressed concerns about the possibility of independence will also be relieved that all those contingency plans for possible upheaval can be put away - for the foreseeable future at least.

Ross McEwan, the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, was the man facing the biggest headache if Scotland voted Yes.

The bank (major shareholder, HM Government) announced its "contingency plans" should there be a Yes vote last week.

That included moving its legal headquarters to London. The major threat was the possible downgrading of an independent Scotland's credit rating which would have affected the cost of borrowing for RBS.

There was also the risk that the Bank of England would not have remained the lender of last resort.

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Scots 'Yes' would boost EU Brexit fears for business

17 September 2014
UK and Scottish flags
If Scotland broke away, it could lead to the UK leaving the EU

In the independence debate, there has been much comment that businesses concerned about a "Yes" vote did not wake up to the perceived risks until the last moment.

The poll in the Sunday Times two weeks ago, giving "Yes" a small lead, concentrated minds and led to a number of businesses making statements on the possible fallout.

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Insurance giant becomes latest to raise questions over independence

15 September 2014
Aviva flags

Now, I know this is starting to turn into something of a procession, but the latest chief executive to raise concerns about Scottish independence is the head of Aviva, Mark Wilson.

In the insurance giant's first substantive words on the subject, Mr Wilson told me that he was concerned that infrastructure funding - and that means the building of schools, hospitals and roads - could become more expensive.

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Sir Richard Branson in fresh warning on Scottish independence

15 September 2014

I've just interviewed Sir Richard Branson and the question of independence came up.

The founder of Virgin Group has already made clear his worries about independence in a blog he wrote last Friday.

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Markets wake up to Scottish independence

8 September 2014
'Yes' campaign cupcakes
'Yes' campaigners held a tea party after a poll showed the pro-independence camp ahead for the first time

To quote Sir Alex Ferguson - for some businesses who don't much like the look of independence, this is squeaky bum time.

Executives at Scottish based firms such as Standard Life, Royal Bank of Scotland and Weir Group arrived at their desks this morning to be greeted with falling share prices and fresh questions over what 19 September - the day after the Scottish referendum - might look like.

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Independence - business leaders come out in support

28 August 2014
T-shirt for yes campaign

Another day, another chapter in the "so, would independence be good for business?" debate.

This morning Business for Scotland (the clue is in the title) released a letter with 200 signatories saying that a Yes vote on September 18 would be good news for the Scottish economy.

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Anti-independence businesses make their voice heard

26 August 2014
Ship freight container transporters move amongst freight containers on Tilbury Dock on February 1, 2007 in Tilbury, England.

After months of sotto voce claims that some businesses were simply too scared to put their head above the independence parapet, tonight comes the most significant move by anti-independence members of the UK business community ahead of the September vote.

A letter signed by 133 businesses with interests around the globe claims that the uncertainty of a Yes vote is "bad for business".

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Bank of England gives 'reassurance' on Scottish independence vote

13 August 2014
Mark Carney

So, now we know. After much speculation and oblique references, Mark Carney has made it clear. The Bank of England has contingency plans whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum.

This is what he said at the Inflation Report press conference this morning. The words are significant, and are his strongest on the issue of post-referendum planning.

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BSkyB – James Murdoch’s master plan comes closer to fruition

Sky camerman

Today's announcement that BSkyB has made a £4.9bn bid to buy Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia from 21st Century Fox is, on the surface, a straightforward play by a British pay-tv business to become a European giant.

Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB's chief executive, wants to run a business whose interests do not stop at the Channel. The deal would open up the German, Austrian and Italian pay-tv markets which are not as well developed as the UK's.

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About Kamal

Kamal joined the BBC after four and a half years as business editor of the Sunday Telegraph's award-winning team. He also helped launch the Telegraph's annual festival of business, the major conference for small and medium sized enterprises. Before that, Kamal worked at The Observer as head of news and earlier, as its political editor.

His love of journalism started at Leeds Student, Leeds University's student newspaper, where he first tasted life as a reporter in a basement office with no windows. Essential workplace furniture included half-drunk pints of beer with cigarettes stubbed out in them. In those days, you needed a strong constitution to be a volunteer hack.

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