The current national lockdown is the "biggest risk" facing banks, and not Brexit, a leading industry figure warned this week.

The most significant barrier to growth for the UK’s major banks this year is the uncertain economic outlook arising from the latest national lockdown, not the lack of clarity on whether financial services firms can access markets in the European Union after Brexit, leading City analyst Michael Hewson declared.

READ MORE: The share prices of Royal Bank of Scotland owner NatWest Group and Lloyds Banking Group fell sharply between Christmas and New Year, amid a sell-off believed to be sparked by continuing uncertainty over access to EU markets. However, the European issue was given short shrift by the chief market analyst at London-based CMC Markets.

Coronavirus and Brexit weigh on mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions activity will slow in Scotland in 2021 as uncertainty about the outlook for the economy amid the coronavirus crisis and Brexit weighs on sentiment, one of the country’s best known corporate financiers has said.

READ MORE: However, David Leslie said Scottish companies have shown their resilience in recent years and predicted that deals will still happen with potential buyers focused on sectors such as pharmaceuticals, technology and financial services.

HeraldScotland: Johnstons of Elgin. Picture by Angus BremnerJohnstons of Elgin. Picture by Angus Bremner

Textiles industry challenge as stores clear inventory backlog

The Scottish textiles industry has haile its resilience during the pandemic but faces a further challenge as it seeks to restock stores that still have a backlog of inventory.

READ MORE: The sector has seen business reduced to about 40 per cent and it is not expected to return to full capacity until 2022, partly because stores that have been closed will still have inventory to sell.

HeraldScotland: Glasgow's Met TowerGlasgow's Met Tower

Met Tower redevelopment, including hotel and offices, wins planning approval

A proposed major redevelopment of a Glasgow landmark has gained planning approval.

READ MORE: Property development and investment firm, Osborne+Co had last April submitted its planning and listed building application for the redevelopment of the former College of Building and Printing tower, which was covered with a huge ‘People Make Glasgow’ graphics wrap for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

HeraldScotland: Marie Macklin has been at the forefront of the Halo regeneration project since its inception more than a decade agoMarie Macklin has been at the forefront of the Halo regeneration project since its inception more than a decade ago

Eagle Labs comes home to roost at Ayrshire regeneration project

Kilmarnock’s Halo regeneration project is set to become home to the newest in the UK-wide network of Eagle Labs business incubators run by banking group Barclays.

READ MORE: The three-year agreement marks another milestone in the £63 million Halo project, a plan hatched by local businesswoman Marie Macklin after Diageo announced in 2009 that it would close down its Johnnie Walker bottling plant in the Ayrshire town. That led to the loss of 700 jobs and left behind an abandoned 23-acre site where Halo is now in the midst of an extensive building programme.

Opinion

Ian McConnell: The inconvenient truths for ‘think big’ Boris Johnson

Mark Williamson: Cut-price exit from North Sea by giant bodes ill for the area

Features

Monday Interview: Scotch whisky auction firm raises glass to best-ever year

SME Focus: Glasgow construction services entrepreneur says firms need period of stability

 

And finally, from the bulletin ... Ullapool's Highland Liquor Company doubles staff numbers after seven-fold increase in turnover | Clark hails £40m boost

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