LONDON Feb 27 Scotland would face a significant
but not unsurpassable challenge if voters back independence in a
referendum later this year, ratings agency Standard & Poor's
said on Thursday.
While an independent Scotland would have the attributes of a
wealthy investment-grade economy, it would face high levels of
public debt, sensitivity to oil prices and potentially limited
monetary policy flexibility, S&P said.
"At the same time, Scotland's external position in terms of
liquidity and investment could be subject to volatility should
banks leave," the ratings agency said in a statement.
"On the other hand, if this were to happen, it could bring
benefits in terms of reducing the size of the Scottish economy's
external balance sheet, normalising the size of its financial
sector, and reducing contingent liabilities for the state."
Earlier on Thursday, insurance and pensions group Standard
Life said it could move parts of its business out of
Scotland if Scots split from the United Kingdom.
"In short, the challenge for Scotland to go it alone would
be significant, but not unsurpassable," S&P said.