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Live Reporting

By Jill Treanor and Dan Ascher

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all

    That's it from Business Live for today - and 2019.

    Thanks for reading.

    We'll be back at 06:00 on 6 January 2020.

  2. MPs debate Johnson's Brexit bill ahead of vote

    Boris Johnson

    MPs are debating whether to back the PM's plan for the UK to leave the EU on 31 January, ahead of a vote later.

    The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill would also ban the government from extending the transition period - where the UK is out of the EU but follows many of its rules - past 2020.

    Boris Johnson said it would allow the UK to "move forward".

    But Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would oppose the bill, and there was "a better and fairer way" to leave the EU.

    Follow developments here.

  3. Andrew Bailey's brush with animal spirits

    Faisal Islam

    BBC Economics Editor

    Andrew Bailey
    Image caption: The new Bank of England governor once had to offer support to his wife as she faced down a grizzly bear.

    The appointment of Andrew Bailey as the 121st Bank of England governor is a safety-first move from the government after its re-election.

    The former deputy governor has long-standing experience at the Bank and takes over at a tumultuous moment in the UK's economic history.

    As the current chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), he is well known internationally for his role in the regulation of the banking system and helping clean up the financial crisis.

    Mr Bailey's challenge now will be keeping inflation low and maintaining the stability of the banking system, particularly through the Brexit process. Both require co-operation with the government, but on occasion, having to stand up to them.

    Read more here.

  4. Bailey 'well placed to steer economy'

    Quote Message: We warmly congratulate Andrew [Bailey] on his appointment as the next governor of the Bank of England. His strong experience, both in Threadneedle Street and at the Financial Conduct Authority, means he is particularly well placed to steer the British economy through the new course it will take after Brexit, and through challenging global economic times. We look forward to continuing our close work with the Bank of England. from Rain Newton-Smith Chief economist, CBI
    Rain Newton-SmithChief economist, CBI
  5. NMC Health falls further

    chart

    A quick update on NMC Health. Shares in Middle East-focused private heath care company are now down more than 20% (as shown) and Reuters has calculated the shares are now down about 50% - losing £2bn of stock market value - since since short seller Muddy Waters started to criticise the business at the start of the week.

  6. Bailey's three challenges

    notes being handed voer

    The appointment of Andrew Bailey as Bank of England governor does not change the outlook for monetary policy, according to Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics.

    "But Bailey will face many challenges during his eight-year term, such as navigating the choppy waters of Brexit and dealing with the next downturn with not much ammunition in the policy arsenal," Mr Dales said.

    He lists three big tests during the eight year term of the "insider with outsider experience".

    First, "he will have to tread a careful path through Brexit and make sure the Bank is independent on that issue," he said, noting his predecessor Mark Carney "has been accused of being too downbeat on the economic implications of Brexit".

    Second, he will have to protect the Bank from political influence. "In the era of more populist politicians, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a government that tries to lean on the Bank, much as President Trump is doing with the US Federal Reserve," Mr Dales said.

    And the third, "and biggest challenge may be dealing with the next severe downturn, which may take place during Bailey’s eight-year term".

  7. MPs warn Whirlpool over washing machine fires

    Whirlpool logo

    A group of MPs have written to Whirlpool calling the company's advice to customers "completely naive and unsustainable" after it told the public not to use some of its washing machines over a fire risk.

    The letter warned: "Reputation is hard won and easily lost but Whirlpool seem to have little regard for theirs."

    In a statement, the letter's author, Yvonne Fovargue, who chairs the parliamentary group for consumer protection, said: “Whirlpool's advice to affected customers simply not to use the machines until repaired or replaced is wholly inadequate, particularly in the busy holiday period when families are at home."

    "Nor is there any excuse for the fact that the helpline was unavailable when the recall was announced and that the website crashed within minutes."

  8. HSBC and First Direct customers still struggling to access accounts

    Customers of HSBC and First Direct are still struggling to log on to online banking.

    HSBC said it is still working to fix its online banking platform.

    "We understand the timing of the outage is definitely far from perfect. We've been sweating blood all day trying to get this fixed," it said on Twitter.

    First Direct also apologised.

    View more on twitter
  9. Bailey's journey to Bank of England governor

    After a lengthy search for the next Bank of England governor, the Treasury has gone back to the candidate it first thought of.

    As far back as June, Andrew Bailey was being spoken of as the favourite for the job.

    However, his time as head of the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has been marked by a number of high-profile controversies.

    These included the FCA's handling of complaints into the Royal Bank of Scotland's treatment of small businesses in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

    The FCA has also faced criticism in recent months over the demise of the flagship fund of one of the UK's best known money managers, Neil Woodford.

    Many thought these issues might have harmed his chances for the top job. But in the meantime, other big names cited as possible candidates for the governorship fell by the wayside and Mr Bailey emerged as the victor.

    Click here to read more.

  10. Did Javid play it safe with Bailey appointment?

    In a first for the programme, Wake Up to Money has updated the podcast of today's episode to ask whether the newly-appointed Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, was the safe decision for Chancellor Sajid Javid.

    It also questions why he didn't take the chance to appoint the first woman to the role.

    View more on twitter
  11. NMC Health resumes slide

    The biggest faller in the FTSE 100 is NMC Heath which is off 11% to 1,375p.

    It continues the downward slide for the shares which were trading at 2,585 short seller Carson Block's Muddy Waters accused it of improper bookkeeping and said it had shorted the stock.

    The Middle East-focused private health care operator has said previously that the criticism is "false and misleading".

    It is also disputed in a report in the Financial Times that it had held talks to raise hundreds of millions of dollars of off-balance sheet debt to fund new hospitals, saying it was found "speculation regarding a transaction that didn’t occur to be completely unproductive".

    The company said it had approached the Financial Conduct Authority with evidence to show that a number of hedge funds have been acting "in concert and systematic fashion to undermine shareholder value in NMC".

  12. Just Eat rejects offer from Prosus

    Just Eat order on a counter

    Just Eat has rejected an offer from Dutch tech giant Prosus, which has been in a bidding war to buy the UK food delivery firm.

    Instead, the company has backed a bid from Takeaway.com, which is also based in the Netherlands.

    Both Takeaway.com and Prosus increased their bids yesterday.

  13. Bailey's 'extensive experience' welcomed by investor body

    Quote Message: We warmly welcome Andrew Bailey’s appointment to governor of the Bank of England and wish him all the best in his new role. Andrew’s extensive experience and able leadership, demonstrated at the Financial Conduct Authority, will enable him to successfully guide the Bank during this critical period for the UK as we prepare to leave the EU. We look forward to working with him to ensure the UK’s investment management industry continues to thrive, to the benefit of savers and investors.” from Chris Cummings chief executive, Investment Association
    Chris Cummingschief executive, Investment Association
  14. 'Special payment for Lloyds victims'

    HBOS flag

    Lloyds Banking Group is to make a special payment of £35,000 to 191 fraud victims in an attempt to rebuild trust after an independent review of its compensation scheme concluded it was not “fair and reasonable” and needed to be reassessed.

    That's according to the Financial Times which cites an email to the victims of the HBOS Reading fraud in which Jo Harris, head of small business banking, said Lloyds had taken the step to assuage concerns those affected had expressed to chief executive Antonio Horta Osorio about “the additional delay” resulting from the new review.

    This is after an independent report, published earlier this month, found a scheme to compensate customers caught up in the multi-million pound scam at the HBOS branch had "serious shortcomings".

    Sir Ross Cranston, a law professor at the London School of Economics, said owners Lloyds must re-assess customers' claims.

    A former HBOS banker and five other financiers were jailed in February 2017 for offences at its Reading branch.

  15. 'Little momentum in the economy'

    office block

    Andrew Wishart, UK economist at Capital Economics, has been looking at the revisions to GDP published by the Office for National Statistics.

    "Christmas has come early with the ONS revising up GDP growth in Q3 from 0.3% to 0.4% in its annual data deluge before the festive break. But that was driven by a larger boost to net trade than in the previous figures that we know has already started to unwind.

    "The underlying picture is still that there is very little momentum in the economy.

    "All this backward-looking news is less important than the timelier data which suggest that the economy may have done no better than flatline in the fourth quarter. And whatever happens, Brexit uncertainty looks set to persist".

  16. Pound climbs higher

    Line graph showing the pound rally against the dollar
    Image caption: £1 now worth $1.3039

    After dipping into the red earlier today, the value of the pound has rallied slightly.

    The pound is now up 0.2% against the dollar, with £1 now worth $1.3039.

    It's up 0.4% against the euro ahead of Boris Johnson's EU withdrawal bill being put to Parliament. Now, £1 is worth €1.1734 or one euro is worth 85p.

  17. HSBC: 'Wait a few minutes and try again'

    In a statement HSBC has said: "We are aware that some of our customers are experiencing intermittent issues accessing HSBC UK mobile and online banking services, and are working hard to fix this."

    "We ask that customers wait a few minutes and try again. We’re very sorry for any inconvenience caused."