Alex Salmond SNP Leader
Alex Salmond has accused business leaders of bullying, as the campaign for Scottish independence moves into its final weekend.Getty

The row between business leaders and the Scottish pro-independence Yes campaign has intensified in the last weekend of campaigning.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said the Scots would not "bullied", after bosses of banks, oil companies and supermarkets warned of the economic consequences of independence.

Deutsche Bank chief economist David Folkerts-Landau said that it was "incomprehensible" that Scotland was even contemplating withdrawal from the UK, and said that if Scotland voted yes to independence, it would be a decision comparable to those that led to the Great Depression of the 1920s.

"A 'Yes' vote for Scottish independence on Thursday would go down in history as a political and economic mistake as large as Winston Churchill's decision in 1925 to return the pound to the Gold Standard, or the failure of the Federal Reserve to provide sufficient liquidity to the US banking system, which we now know brought on the Great Depression in the US," he said.

Supermarkets and DIY chains have warned that prices could go up if Scotland votes Yes on Thursday. And the Royal Bank of Scotland revealed this week that it would move its headquarters to London if Scotland seceded from the Union.

Salmond returned fire by accusing the companies of "bullying".

Big business, big bullies

Speaking in Perth on Friday evening, Mr Salmond said: "The people of Scotland are not going to be bullied by big oil. We're not going to be bullied by big supermarkets. We're not going to be bullied by big London government.

Jim Sillars SNP ex-deputy leader
Jim Sillars SNP ex-deputy leader.Paul Hackett/ Reuters

"We're not going to be bullied out of our opportunity – our once in a lifetime opportunity – to create a more prosperous country and a fairer society."

Former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars warned that bankers, scaremongering businesses and finance chiefs would be punished for "being in cahoots" with the Conservatives if Scotland became independent, promising a "day of reckoning" for pro-union businesses.

"This referendum is about power, and when we get a Yes majority, we will use that power for a day of reckoning with BP and the banks.

"The heads of these companies are rich men, in cahoots with a rich English Tory prime minister, to keep Scotland's poor, poorer through lies and distortions. The power they have now to subvert our democracy will come to an end with a Yes."

He added: "BP, in an independent Scotland, will need to learn the meaning of nationalisation, in part or in whole, as it has in other countries who have not been as soft as we have forced to be.

"We will be the masters of the oil fields, not BP or any other of the majors. What kind of people do these companies think we are? They will find out."

Passionate campaigning

The SNP defended Mr Sillars' comments.

A spokesman said: "Jim is a passionate campaigner who is carrying on the work of his late wife Margo MacDonald, who dedicated her political life to achieving an independent Scotland and a fairer society."

Thousands of supports of the pro-unionist Orange Order are gathering in Edinburgh for a rally this afternoon.

Henry Dunbar, grandmaster of the Orange Order in Scotland, is expected to tell marchers: "The 'No' campaign has been criticised for not showing enough passion for the Union – well look out, here comes some passion.

"We are the Orangemen and women of Scotland and we are passionate about our Queen and country."