A yes vote in favour for Scottish independence could prompt a downgrading in the creditworthiness of insurance firms with subsidiaries operating in the country, credit ratings agency Standard & Poors has warned.
The referendum takes place on September 18, and S&P said on Friday there was a risk that this would impact the insurance sector, as many uncertainties remained over independence.
These include what currency an independent Scotland would use if it votes to leave the UK or whether it would be a member of the European Union or European Economic Area.
S&P also said Scottish tax and regulatory rules may diverge from those of the UK, adding further complexities and costs for insurers over several years as the process to establish an independent country was completed.
'We therefore believe that Scottish independence has the potential for negative ratings actions on insurers operating in Scotland,' the agency said.
'Insurers with discrete Scottish subsidiaries would feel the greatest rating impact from a "yes" vote for Scottish independence.'
The agency also stated that even if there was a 'no' vote to stay in the UK, both major parties in the Britain have promised to devolve further powers to the Scottish parliament, which could also have an impact on the sector, albeit over several years.