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Supply chains and labour market likely to dent UK’s recovery, Santander says

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Disruptions in global supply chains, a tight labour market and continued outbreaks of Covid are likely to have an impact on the sustainability of Britain’s recovery from the depths of the pandemic, Santander said.

The Spanish bank said it was counting on a series of issues to hit UK economic growth in the coming months.

Meanwhile, inflation and the impact it will have on interest rates will feed through to how much banks earn.

“Despite a more positive economic environment, conditions remain uncertain and a number of factors could impact the pace of recovery,” said chief executive Nathan Bostock.

“While the pandemic’s trajectory over the winter remains unclear, I believe we are well positioned to grow and to support our customers over the years ahead, with strong capital and liquidity and proven balance sheet resilience.”

The bank reported a 19% increase in its pre-tax profit in the third quarter of the year, which reached £687 million.

“Our strong financial performance has been driven by the continuing success of our strategy and the hard work of our colleagues in supporting customers and communities whilst the UK economy reopened,” Mr Bostock said.

“We have built on our position as the UK’s third largest retail mortgage provider, delivering £5.2 billion of net mortgage growth in a competitive market as well as an increase in customer deposits.”

The business said that although gross domestic product (GDP) has recovered, the UK economy is still facing an uncertain time.

It pointed to the ongoing effects of Covid-19, supply chain disruption and dislocation in the labour market as reasons that there might be pressures on the sustainability of the recovery.

The company’s Spanish parent said that its third-quarter profits were up by a quarter compared to the same period last year.

It said that the UK operation, as well as that in the US, have proven vital to the business so far this year.

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