The Royal Bank of Scotland would "inevitably" move to London if Scotland gains independence in this September's referendum, Vince Cable has warned.
The Lib Dem business secretary told members of the Business select committee that RBS, which is 81% owned by the government, would be forced to leave its Edinburgh headquarters if Scotland broke away from the UK.
"I think if you were managing RBS you would almost certainly want to be in a domicile where your bank is protected against the risk of collapse," said Cable.
"I think they already have a substantial amount of their management in London and I would have thought that inevitably they would become a London bank."
Cable's warning about the fate of RBS, which was propped up with £45 billion of taxpayer support in a state bailout in 2008, comes after business leaders and ex-cabinet ministers lashed out at Scottish independence.
Bob Dudley, chief executive of the oil giant BP, said that he did not want to see Scotland "drifting away" from the United Kingdom, adding that "all businesses have a concern" about the referendum.
After BP released its latest results, Dudley said: "It does not seem the right thing to me for the country [Scotland] to drift off. That's not a company view, that's from me."