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In Brief: Thousands of homes install ‘smart’ thermostat; Early rates rise risk; Product recalls soar; Metro Bank raises £387m


British Gas has revealed that more than 50,000 Britons are using its apps to control their heating, less a week after Google spent $3.2bn (£1.9bn) on the “smart” home appliance maker Nest.

Over 10,000 homes have installed British Gas’s new “smart” thermostat, Hive Active Heating, since its launch last September.

Early rates rise would put ‘lopsided’ recovery at risk

The EY Item Club has raised its forecast for UK economic growth in 2014 to 2.7 per cent, but warned against any early rise in interest rates. In its quarterly forecast it said the recovery was “lopsided” and that a more balanced recovery through business investment and exports will be crucial before rates rise.

Product recalls soar in wake of meat scandal

The number of recalls of dangerous or faulty goods has risen as the horse-meat scandal and other food recalls raise the focus on safety and boost the number of recorded cases, says the City law firm RPC. It says 272 product recalls were made in 2013 in the UK, up from 260 in 2012.

Metro Bank raises £387m to aid ‘bank revolution’

Metro Bank has raised £387.5m in extra capital to aid growth. This fourth capital raise brings the equity capital raised by the bank to £641m. Vernon W Hill, founder and chairman of the bank, said: “The revolution in British banking continues, with strong support from existing and new investors.”