Scotland is on the "cusp of making history" by voting for independence in a week's time, the First Minister has said.

Alex Salmond said the eyes of the world are on Scotland, as he addressed an audience of international journalists in Edinburgh exactly 17 years since the country voted Yes to devolution.

Vowing that Scots "will vote Yes" in seven days' time, he attacked the No camp for being in "terminal decline" the day after the leaders of three main UK parties travelled north of the border in a bid to save the union.

Mr Salmond said: "Scotland is on the cusp of making history. The eyes of the world are upon Scotland. And what the world is seeing is an articulate, peaceful, energised debate.

"Scotland will vote Yes next Thursday and they will vote Yes because last minute, cobbled up promises from the No campaign which unravel at the slightest scrutiny will not fool anyone in this country and neither will the blatant bullying and intimidation of the Westminster Government.

"The No campaign is in terminal decline. In contrast a Yes vote is the opportunity of a lifetime. An opportunity to build a fairer more prosperous country."

The latest Survation poll for the Daily Record puts support for the union at 53% and backing for independence on 47%, when undecided voters are excluded.

Mr Salmond said it is Scotland's people, not politicians, who are "re-invigorating and transforming" the political process during the debate over the country's constitutional future.

An independent Scotland would succeed not only because of its wealth and natural resources, but also by building on the "energy, participation and involvement" seen in the campaign, he said.

The First Minister said: "It has been a process of national empowerment. As a country we have re-discovered national self-confidence. As a nation, we are finding our voice.

"Our message to the people of Scotland is this - for the first time in Scottish history, on the 18th September we, the people, hold our destiny in our own hands.

"We shall not wake up on the 19th of September having given it away. We shall wake up knowing that we did the right thing.

"Wake up to a lifetime of feeling confident in ourselves and in our country."

Mr Salmond said a Yes vote was not the end of something but "the beginning of something special" and the start of a "new chapter" for Scotland on the world stage.

He said: "We shall not go back to accepting a country where a million live in poverty.

"To a country where people feel their views don't count and they get a government they didn't elect.

"Where we spend billions on Trident but say we don't have enough for childcare.

"Where the massive potential and talent of so many Scots is wasted.

"Where decisions are made remotely and against the settled will of the Scottish people."

The last two weeks of campaigning had been "the most momentous in Scottish political history", he added.

"The will of the people a week from today will be to restore to this rich, ancient nation the opportunity once again to take its responsible place in the community of nations," he said.

"This is it - the moment to believe, the moment to win."

Downing Street said "others will want to try and make judgements" on whether Mr Cameron's trip north to campaign against independence had been a success.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that interventions by businesses about the potential impact of a Yes vote raised awareness of the "risks and uncertainties" of voting to break up the union.

"I think it is important that you hear voices such as those that are setting these points out," the spokesman added.

At his press conference with world media, Mr Salmond also accused the UK Treasury of briefing journalists on plans drawn up by Royal Bank of Scotland to register itself in England if Scotland votes for independence, and said there would be an "inevitable investigation".

He said: "Market sensitive information, and it's a basic rule, can't be released prior to the market announcement at 7am this morning.

"RBS share price changed overnight. This is a matter of extraordinary gravity."

RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Clydesdale Bank and TSB have all revealed contingency plans in the event of a Yes vote in a week's time.

Mr Salmond earlier told BBC Radio Scotland that the RBS plans would have no impact on jobs or operations in Scotland and accused the UK Government of "scaremongering".

He said: "The first news of this came to the BBC from a source within the UK Government, within the Treasury, not from the letter from the chief executive issued this morning which makes clear there's no impact on operations or jobs.

"It's part of a political campaign during this referendum campaign from the UK Government."

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney predicted the banks would stay as he is "very confident" a currency union would be agreed in the event of a Yes vote.

Uncertainty is entirely down to the "refusal of the United Kingdom Government and the Labour Party to expressly engage in a reasoned discussion" on the issue, he said.

He said yesterday's visits of the Westminster party leaders to Scotland demonstrated how likely they are to change tack if independence is backed in the referendum.

"The minute the UK political establishment believes there is a possibility of us being successful they rush to come to some agreement, to be involved in this process," Mr Swinney told BBC Radio 4's Today.

Meanwhile, the John Lewis Partnership has issued a warning that shoppers in Scotland are likely to face higher prices if the country goes it alone.

Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said it had no plans to reduce its commercial presence north of the border, where it has nine shops, a contact centre and employs more than 3,000 people.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Mr Salmond's dismissal of claims by leading figures in business and finance was "almost comic".

Speaking on his regular LBC radio phone-in, he said: "He is a very good campaigner, he is a wily politician.

"I think he has been living and breathing this all his life. It's his life's mission, but just because something is someone's life mission doesn't mean the mission is the right thing for the people he seeks to represent.

"It is becoming almost comic the way you have major, major figures raising massive alarm bells about the economic consequences of independence.

"You can't constantly shout people down when very authoritative bodies say 'this is going to be bad for prices and shops, for jobs in Scotland. You can't keep saying 'oh, they are just talking nonsense'."

At a Better Together rally in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, former prime minister Gordon Brown said: "I think Mr Salmond has to face facts now. You can dismiss some of the warnings some of the time but you can't dismiss all of the warnings all of the time.

"We've got John Lewis worried about price rises in the shops, we've got the oil companies saying investment would be cut and jobs lost, we've got the banks and financial institutions saying they may have to relocate which means that there are further jobs lost.

"We've got worries about the fiscal gap which is £6 billion and cannot be filled.

"I think people are now coming to the view that our proposals for change within the UK is a far safer, far better, far friendlier, far faster option to be delivered and one that commands far greater support in the Scottish population and one that can unite Scotland rather than divide it.".

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw described the heckling of a BBC journalist at today's international press conference as an "utterly embarrassing episode".

"The foreign media must have wondered what was going on when the activist corps joined the press one," he said.

"The First Minister looked like a man in danger of losing the plot, and his conduct - and that of organisers - transformed an opportunity to interrogate Alex Salmond into a laughable circus in front of a global audience."

Meanwhile, former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy set out the case for keeping the union to shopkeepers and residents in Glasgow.

"We've heard yet more reasons to doubt the Yes campaign's claims over the last 24 hours," he said.

"And when neutral businesses begin to act, people should take note."