Proposals to stop using the pound and to adopt a new currency in an independent Scotland would be a gamble with people’s livelihoods, it has been claimed.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, has claimed that a vote in favour of Scottish independence in a future referendum would put financial exports with the rest of the UK at risk.

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However, the SNP has maintained that a new currency would only be adopted when it was in the interests of the country to do so.

The comments by Ms Nash follows new analysis by Scotland in Union which suggest that the export of financial services to the rest of the UK were valued at £9.1 billion in 2017.

“These official SNP figures show the strength of Scotland’s successful financial services market, delivering a major boost for our economy,” said Ms Nash.

“We are stronger together as part of the UK, with financial services firms in Edinburgh and Glasgow benefiting from being part of the UK home market and using the British pound.

“Scexit would put billions of pounds of financial exports to the rest of the UK at risk, particularly with the SNP’s plan to scrap the pound.

“As part of the UK, Scotland’s economy has greater protection from shocks; we would be gambling with people’s livelihoods by scrapping the pound and using a new currency.

“Scotland’s economy needs a prolonged period of certainty to allow it to grow and prosper, which is why we should save the pound and grow our financial services industry by remaining part of the UK.”

Professor Ronald Macdonald, research professor of macroeconomics and international finance at the University of Glasgow, also warned over the move to a separate currency.

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“A separate Scottish currency, floating freely on foreign exchange markets, is not an option that can be kicked into the long grass as supporters of independence seem to think,” said Professor Macdonald.

“A separate Scottish currency at a sharply depreciated value is an inevitable consequence of independence from its inception.

“This in turn would clearly have stark implications for an independent Scotland’s trade in goods and services with the rest of the UK.”

SNP Depute Leader, Keith Brown, insisted that the biggest risk to Scotland’s financial services industry is being part of the UK as it leaves the EU.

“Opponents of independence would claim any currency was the wrong one,” said Mr Brown.

“Scotland will continue to use the pound at the point of independence, until it’s in the interests of the economy to adopt a new currency.

“It’s clear that by far the biggest risk to Scotland’s financial services industry is being shackled to a Brexit Britain, something that we were promised wouldn’t happen if Scotland stayed in the UK.

“The whole point of independence is so that Scotland has the full powers to protect jobs, living standards and public services, and make decisions that are in the best interests of our economy.”