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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

In our roundup this week, we report on a new poll suggesting increasing momentum for Brexit, as well as warnings that low income families could lose out should Britain decide to leave the EU. We also bring news of revenue growth for retailer Ted Baker and a new energy bill safety net proposed by Ofgem.


Brexit support 'building momentum'

While figures last week indicated that the 'Remain' campaign was narrowly ahead in the build up to the referendum on Britain's continued membership of the European Union (EU), a new poll has suggested a building of momentum for the 'Leave' campaign.

According to the survey from The Times newspaper and YouGov, the Leave camp had opened up a seven-point lead over Remain late on Monday, with the former boasting 46% of support compared to 39% for the latter. It was also shown that 11% of votes are undecided, while 4% do not plan to vote.

The Leave campaign has received a further boost with the Sun newspaper calling on its readers to back Brexit. 

…but Brexit 'could cost low-income families'

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has warned that low-income families could be hit hard should Britain vote to leave the EU, with households receiving hundreds of pound less in benefits.

Some families could stand to lose as much as £2,771 a year, the NIESR reported in its central forecast. Angus Armstrong, a former Treasury official and one of the report's authors, said: "Our results show that a disproportionately large share of the costs of Brexit is likely to fall on low income households."

The economic think tank also calculated that national income could fall by up to 6% by 2020 in the event of Brexit. 

Online growth leads to Ted Baker revenue climb

Ted Baker has reported a significant revenue climb for the 19 weeks to June 11, with online growth and the opening of new stores cited as the main reasons for the upward movement. The clothing company announced that revenue rose by 11.3% for the period, with retail sales increasing by 12.7% and store spacing up by 9.7%.

The retailer announced it is on course to meet its full-year expectations and also revealed that wholesale sales and e-commerce sales have leapt by 7.3% and 32.3% respectively.

The movement resulted in Ted Baker's shares climbing 2.15% to reach 2,375 pence in early morning trading on Tuesday. 

Ofgem proposes energy bill safety net

Ofgem is looking to introduce a safety net for energy customers to make sure they do not lose out should their energy supplier become insolvent. The energy watchdog has proposed the addition of a small levy to bills, which would have "a small impact" on energy costs and would safeguard consumers who are in credit with their energy firm.

Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem's Senior Partner for Consumers and Competition, said: "We are proposing a safety net to protect customers' credit balances in the unlikely event of a supplier failure." 

The proposed move is aimed at benefiting those who spread direct debits evenly across the year, leaving them in debt during winter but in credit during the warmer summer months.