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  • Today's business and finance round up 14th July 2022

Today's business and finance round up 14th July 2022

Unexpected growth in UK economy

14th July 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond

Good morning In a case of twisted irony yesterday Twitter, a company that originally did not want to be bought by Elon Musk, officially announced it was suing Elon Musk, someone who originally wanted to buy Twitter but does not want to now, to force him to buy Twitter.

Today's stories

  • Unexpected growth in UK economy

  • Energy firms under fire over direct debits

ECONOMYUnexpected growth in UK economy

  • An increase in doctors’ visits which offset the continued scaling down of the NHS Covid Test and Trace programme.

  • A rebound in holiday bookings and rail travel with pent up demand for vacations.

  • A rise in the manufacturing and construction sectors as they returned to their pre-pandemic levels.

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Rail strike: New walkout to take place on 27 July

  • Cost of living: More than 8m households get £326 in their account from today

  • Rishi Sunak wins first round of Tory leadership vote

  • Race for talent sees recruiter Page post record month

  • BMW criticised for putting heated seats behind a paywall

  • Sale process begins for Savile Row tailor brand Gieves and Hawkes

  • US inflation hits 9.1%

  • Bill Gates funnels $20bn to his foundation and plans to drop off rich list

ENERGYEnergy firms under fire over direct debits

What happened?Yesterday the energy industry regulator Ofgem called out five suppliers for unfair direct debit payments from customers.Ofgem singled out Ecotricity, Good Energy, Green Energy UK, Utilita Energy, TruEnergy and UK Energy Incubator Hub (which has now gone bust) for being the worst offenders.How did we get here?In April the annual cap on energy bills increased by 54% for about 18m UK households following the jump in gas prices sparked by the war in Ukraine.In May Ofgem launched a review into how much energy firms were charging in regular payments after the government complained that "some" companies had been increasing direct debit payments "beyond what is required" as millions of consumers fell into fuel poverty.For the most part suppliers are behavingOfgem’s review of 17 suppliers found that, on average, direct debit levels for customers on a standard variable tariff between February and April increased by 62% - mostly reflecting the increased cost of wholesale gas.But 500,000 households saw direct debit payments increase by 100% despite the 54% price cap rise. Ofgem said issues like poor documentation and a lack of a structured approach to setting customer direct debits led to overcharging.What next: The named and shamed suppliers have challenged the regulator’s assessment. But these firms have two weeks to submit action plans to ensure customer payments are fair.

Stat of the day

Heathrow Airport has put a daily cap on passengers of 100,000 to try to cope with fights delays and disruptions. This compares to 125,000 daily passengers in summer 2019

Interesting links from around the web

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