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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

In our roundup this week, we report on new figures suggesting a rise in support for the Brexit 'In' campaign, and warnings from George Osborne that leaving the EU could cause long-lasting economic damage. We also bring news of Centrica announcing a loss in customers and claims that customers are being failed by major mobile providers. 


ORB poll: Brexit 'In' campaign support climbs

A new ORB opinion poll for the Telegraph has shown an increase in support for Britain remaining in the European Union (EU). The survey revealed that while support for remaining in the 28-member bloc ahead of the referendum on June 23 had climbed by two percentage points to reach 53%, support for Brexit had also dropped by three percentage points to 41%.

The findings indicated increased backing for remaining in the EU compared to earlier in April, when a similar poll was conducted by ORB. In a commentary for the Telegraph, Sir Lynton Crosby, the Conservative election strategist, said there is a growing preference among Britons for remaining in the EU, although those in favour of leaving the bloc are the more likely to turn out and vote. 

Chancellor warns of financial cost of Brexit to each household

George Osborne has warned that leaving the EU could have long-lasting repercussions for the British economy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer claimed that by 2030, a decision to quit the bloc could cost each household £4,300 a year.

Mr Osborne explained that such a move would result in prices being higher and wages lower, adding funding for public services would be reduced and the size of the British economy would be left smaller.

He said: "Britain would be permanently poorer if it left the European Union. Under any alternative, we'd trade less, do less business and receive less investment." 

Centrica announces customer loss and job cuts

Centrica has revealed it has lost 224,000 residential customers in the first quarter of 2016, with many households making the switch to alternative providers. In its trading update, the company, which owns British Gas, revealed its number of residential accounts now stands at 14.4 million following the loss of 1.5% of its domestic customers.

The firm also said it has begun the process of making 3,000 planned job cuts this year, with 800 roles cut so far. This move is part of a five-year plan aimed at saving £750 million. 

Major mobile providers 'failing customers'

A number of major mobile providers are failing customers with regard to basic customer service. This is according to Which? following a comparison of all UK mobile suppliers. It highlighted Vodafone and EE as scoring particularly poorly, especially concerning value for money and ease of contact.

Alex Neill, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Which?, commented: "Telecoms are an essential part of modern life and so providers need to start delivering for their customers."