The City roundup video: Water companies to slash bills by 5 per cent

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Regulator Ofwat delivered an early Christmas present to bill-payers today when it ruled that water companies must cut prices by an average of 5 per cent over the next five years and spend an extra £44 billion to improve services.

From April 1 next year, average bills will fall by around £20 from £396 to £376.

Only three of Britain’s water firms, Pennon, Severn Trent, and United Utilities, are still listed on the London stock market, with the rest mostly owned by complex foreign investment consortiums.

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It may only be an extra £20 in our pocket each year but it’s better than paying more – especially at a time when supermarkets are cutting prices and the cost of oil is tumbling.