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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

This week's roundup includes news of a shares drop for IAG, the owner of British Airways, following severe flight disruption at the weekend, calls for the retirement age to rise to at least 70 in rich countries by 2050, a climb in contactless payment fraud, and the latest poll ahead of the general election suggesting Labour have cut the Conservatives' lead to six percentage points. 


IT failure leads to shares drop for BA-owner IAG

A significant IT failure that led to the grounding of hundreds of flights at the weekend resulted in shares in British Airways owner IAG dropping more than four percentage points on Tuesday morning.

IAG's shares were down 4.3% at 588 pence in early morning trading, wiping around half a billion pounds from its market value. A power surge has been cited as the main reason for the IT failure, which affected IAG's global flight operations, website and call centres.

The disruption meant that around 75,000 passengers were left stranded after schedules were cancelled at both Heathrow and Gatwick airports. 

Retirement age 'should rise to 70' - World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum has called for the retirement age to climb to at least 70 in wealthier countries. A new report from the organisation has suggested the change should be introduced by 2050 in countries such as the UK, US, Canada and Japan as life expectancy rises above 100.

The call has been made based on the prediction that the number of people over the age of 65 will reach 2.1 billion - more than triple what it is now - by 2050.

Michael Drexler, Head of Financial and Infrastructure Systems at the World Economic Forum, said of the issue: "We must address it now or accept that its adverse consequences will haunt future generations, putting an impossible strain on our children and grandchildren." 

Contactless payment fraud 'continues to climb'

Fraud relating to contactless payment is continuing to increase, a new report from Fraud Action UK has found. It was shown that the amount stolen from contactless bank cards and mobile devices reached almost £7 million in 2016, representing a significant climb on the £2.8 million reported a year earlier.

The technology allows for contactless cards to be used for transactions of up to £30, and the research also found that the amount of money spent via contactless payment increased from £7.75 billion to £25.2 billion over the last year. 

Poll: Labour close Conservatives' lead to 6 percentage points

The latest poll carried out by Survation for ITV's Good Morning Britain programme has suggested a narrowing of the Conservatives' lead over Labour in the build up to next week's general election.

The survey of more than 1,000 respondents had the Conservative Party remaining on 43%, but with Labour climbing three percentage points to 37%. The poll was taken in the aftermath of the suicide bombing in Manchester that resulted in 22 deaths, and following Theresa May's apparent U-turn on social care plans for the elderly.


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