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UK could face a balance of payments crisis after Brexit: Osborne

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British finance minister George Osborne said on Wednesday that the country could face a balance of payments crisis and problems in its banking sector if it votes to leave the European Union in next month's referendum.

[LONDON] British finance minister George Osborne said on Wednesday that the country could face a balance of payments crisis and problems in its banking sector if it votes to leave the European Union in next month's referendum.

"We could face a very, very difficult situation that could make us very significantly poorer than where we are today because we could have a balance of payments crisis. That's a scenario that others in the world have talked about," Mr Osborne told lawmakers. "There are potential downsides in the financial stability situation," he said.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has previously said that concerns about Britain's EU membership could test the "kindness of strangers" who fund the country's large current account deficit.

Supporters of a so-called Brexit have accused Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron of trying to scare voters out of voting to leave the EU.

REUTERS