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Pound falls amid Scottish Independence poll


The British pound fell to its lowest level for 10 months, after a poll revealed a narrow support for Scottish independence.

The Scottish public are set to be asked the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” on Thursday 18th October, in a referendum that could see the Scotland leave Great Britain.

Until recently, polls suggested that the Scottish public were likely to vote against leaving Great Britain. However, a YouGov poll recently asked voters which way they planned to vote, and this poll revealed that 51% of respondents said they would vote “Yes” and 49% would vote “No”.

As a result of this uncertainty, the value of the pound fell by 1% against the dollar and just less than 1% against the euro.

Additionally, Scottish based businesses were amongst the biggest fallers in the stock market, as Standard Life shares fell by 3%, whilst businesses such as the Royal Bank of Scotland fell by as much as 2.4%.

A big wake-up call

The negative effect of this uncertainty was described as “a big wake-up call for all the investors who had not yet priced in the risk of a vote in favour of independence", by Alexandre Baradez, who is the chief market analyst at IG France.

There have also been warnings by other experts and business leaders alike. One of these warnings included a piece of research published by Barclays Bank, which said a vote for independence is only “the opening chapter”.

The research stated: "[There will be] uncertainty over issues ranging from the timelines for political and economic independence, resultant institutional frameworks, lender of last resort for Scotland, the division of assets and liabilities, fiscal impact and policies, and what currency choices Scotland will have available and choose."

Additionally, Robert Peston, the economics editor for the BBC warned that the longer the uncertainty lasts, the greater the problems will be on both sides of the Scottish border.

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