STANDARD Life has denied reports that it is looking to purchase a flagship headquarters in London.

The insurer was said to be in talks over a deal for the 100 Cheapside building in the heart of London's financial district as it was planning to use the site as a base if the Scottish people voted for independence in the referendum.

While Standard Life would not be drawn on whether it is looking to buy the property as part of its investment activities it strongly refuted suggestions it was looking for a replacement for its existing Edinburgh headquarters.

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A Standard Life spokesman said: "We cannot comment on individual deals as we manage a large portfolio of properties on behalf of our clients, but we can confirm that we are not looking for a London-based HQ."

The Cheapside site, close to the Bank of England, provides more than 86,000 square feet over 10 floors.

The building is expected to be completed by September and have a price tag of around £110 million. Quadrant Estates is the developer with backers including CarVal Investors and Orion.

Property industry sources suggested Standard Life is considering buying the building to add to its multi-billion pound real estate portfolio, managed through various funds run by Standard Life Investments, which covers shopping malls and offices all around the UK as well as overseas.

While Standard Life has previously stated it is politically neutral in relation to the referendum it has outlined contingency plans involving the transfer of funds and companies to England to ensure continuity of regulation.

At the company's annual general meeting in May chairman Gerry Grimstone indicated the company was unlikely to quit Scotland and move the thousands of people it employs here to another location. However, he said the business needed to be able to guarantee how its various divisions would be regulated.

In the Standard Life annual report, published in February, Mr Grimstone had said Scotland was a great base for the business but warned "if anything were to threaten this, we will take whatever action we consider necessary - including transferring parts of our operations from Scotland."