Carillion’s competitors received a boost on the stock market after the construction and services company went into administration this month. The biggest benefactor was healthcare group Serco, which bought £47m in healthcare contracts from the crisis-hit company in December, rising 4.7%.

Meanwhile, G4S rose 1.6%, Interserve gained 1.3%, and construction companies Balfour Beatty and Kier Group rose 0.3% and 1% respectively.

The British multinational facilities management and construction services company went into compulsory liquidation on 15th January with an estimated £900million worth of debt in tow, and leaving 43,000 members of staff in a state of uncertainty.

Conversely, the pound broke the $1.37 mark for the first time since Brexit was passed. Up almost 2 cents against the dollar at $1.37210, the highest since the referendum took place on 24 June 2016.

Industry experts said reports of the Netherlands and Spain remaining open to a deal ensuring Britain remains as close as possible to the EU had contributed to the boost.

Meanwhile, at ground level, the Open Banking system is now underway, meaning banks and building societies must allow regulated businesses access to a customer’s financial data, but only if the customer has given permission.

Insiders say this change in the law offers consumers potential access to better deals on overdrafts and the like, as well as quicker switching times, but warnings on fraud risks have also been issued. Surcharges for credit card, debit card, or other payment system use, such as PayPal, will also be banned under the new legislation, with banks only blocking access if it suspects fraud or unauthorised access.

In ensuring that the UK’s nine biggest current account providers gain the additional insight securely, and without customers revealing online login details or passwords, the idea is that apps and online services will be enabled to analyse spending habits and search for better deals on loans, mortgages, shopping and broadband services, and more.

Elsewhere, growth in the housing market was slower in 2017 than the previous year, the UK’s largest mortgage lender Halifax has reported. Prices rose by 2.7% in 2017 compared with 6.5% in 2016 – the lowest rise since 2012 on a calendar year basis – with the trend blamed on a squeeze in real wage growth and ongoing uncertainty regarding the economy.

Homeowners in Wales, along with those in the East Midlands, saw current values rise faster than anywhere else, however, with an 8% increase in 2017 compared to 1% in London and 5.6% decrease in Northern Ireland.

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