Poll shows value of pound a big factor in Brexit vote

An employee is seen walking over a mosaic of pound sterling symbols set in the floor of the front hall of the Bank of England in London, in this March 25, 2008 file photograph. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - More than half of Britons are worried a vote to leave the European Union will weaken the pound and 43 percent say the value of sterling will be an important factor in how they vote in the referendum in June, a poll on Wednesday showed.

The phone poll of 1,002 people, conducted last week by the ComRes polling agency for money transfer information site, showed 55 percent said they were worried about the impact of a Brexit on the pound, including 61 percent of women.

A regional breakdown also showed 69 percent of Londoners were worried about the impact on the pound, with half saying its performance before the referendum would be an important factor in their vote.

“Our research clearly shows that the value of the pound is very important to Britons and could influence their vote,” FXcompared managing director Daniel Webber said.

“A negative impact on sterling will be keenly felt, whether people are travelling abroad, buying property abroad, or are simply sending money to relatives overseas. It is something that each Brexit campaign camp needs to bear in mind.”

Sterling has fallen almost 9 percent against the dollar since November of last year as financial markets priced in concerns over the Brexit vote, and it slid 3 percent last week after Prime Minister David Cameron set June 23 for the vote.

Swiss bank UBS warned this week that the pound could fall to parity with the euro if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

Reporting by Patrick Graham, editing by Anirban Nag and Nigel Stephenson