Rating agency Standard & Poor's has lowered the United Kingdom's credit outlook from 'stable' to 'negative' as UK borrowing hit record levels. According to the agency, debt, uncertainty, "deteriorating public finances" and an imminent election contributed to the downgrade, the first in negative territory since S&P ratings began in the 1980s. "The rating could be lowered if we conclude that, following the election, the next government's fiscal consolidation plans are unlikely to put the UK debt burden on a secure downward trajectory over the medium term," said S&P credit analyst David Beers. "Conversely, the outlook could be revised back to stable if comprehensive measures are implemented to place the public finances on a sustainable footing." The move sparked fears that the UK would lose its Triple A rating, which would see borrowing costs rise for the country. The pound and British shares fell in response to the new rating.