CONSUMER confidence in Scotland has plummeted in the wake of the Brexit vote according to a new survey which comes amid plans by banking giant Lloyds to accelerate jobs losses following the decision to leave the EU.

Consumer confidence is lower in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK following the referendum, with warnings that the prospect of a second referendum risks exacerbating the economic uncertainty north of the Border.

Confidence in Scotland nosedived by 14 points to minus-22 in the first two weeks of July according to market research agency, GfK.

That was nearly twice as low as the UK average of minus-12.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics for GfK, said calls for a second Scottish independence referendum as a result of the Brexit vote - which contradicted the majority Remain position of Scottish voters - was exacerbating the economic uncertainty north of the Border.

Mr Staton said: "If anything, you've got more uncertainty built into the system [in Scotland] than the rest of the UK.

"I was in Scotland during the referendum and I could see the uncertainty and the schisms developing between people - it was very much like what we've just been through across the UK, and potentially Scotland is going to go through it again. So if anything, all of this is creating uncertainty."

Average consumer confidence in the UK is now the lowest since November 2013, but remains far from the record lows of minus-39 during the height of the credit crunch.

The results were based on a survey of 2000 UK residents by GfK, who have been conducting the survey since 1974. It covers everything from attitudes to saving to whether consumers consider it a "good time to buy".

Mr Staton stressed that there was good reason to believe that the next survey would show a levelling out of consumer confidence since the July poll had been carried out at the peak of the post-referendum uncertainty, prior to Theresa May taking over as Prime Minister.

He cautioned against "talking ourselves into a recession".

He said: "We are all reacting - or over-reacting - to what has been a shock to the system, both personally, politically and economically, so I would look for a rebalancing going forward.

"Low confidence means we feel less inclined to spend, less inclined to invest, we become very short-termist in our outlook and, as we know, the economy across the UK is driven by the service sector which is dependent on people spending and being willing to splash the cash.

"If people retrench and retract too far, then that will have negative implications on the overall GDP of the economy.

"We saw at the beginning of the downturn, people actually retrenched a lot more than they possibly needed to."

It comes as Lloyds Banking Group - which includes the Bank of Scotland - announced plans to step up its cost cutting plans in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The part state-owned banking giant aims to save £400 million by the end of 2017 by axing a further 3,000 jobs and closing an additional 200 branches to protect its earnings and dividends against low interest rates.

Lloyds said it was too early to say whether there would be any branch closures and job losses in Scotland, where the group employs 16,000 people - around a fifth of its overall UK workforce.

Meanwhile, Ford said it is considering closing car plants in the UK and across Europe in response to the Brexit vote.