Budget supermarket Aldi will increase staff wages to above the National Living Wage from next February, bosses have announced.
From then, workers will be paid a minimum of £8.40, and those in London will get £9.45 an hour.
Employees in the Republic of Ireland will also get a raise, up to €11.50.
Aldi said it would not need to raise prices to pay for the move, as it already pays all store assistants at least £8.15 an hour and a country-wide average of more than £9.
The success of Aldi in the UK and Ireland has been driven by the commitment, hard work and ambition of our employees and we will continue to maintain our leading position on pay.
It is the latest in a string of pay rises for supermarket staff across the country.
Morrisons recently said it would increase wages from £6.83 an hour to £8.20, while Lidl announced similar changes.
It puts the supermarket salaries above the National Living Wage announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his summer budget, which will see all workers aged 25 and up paid at least £7.20 from next April, rising to £9 in 2020.
Figures show average house prices over £1m in some areas outside of London, but an overall drop in seven-figure property sales overall.Read the full story ›
The British Bankers' Association has welcomed the competition watchdog's proposals to make it easier for consumers to switch bank accounts.
Speaking to ITV News after the Competition and Marketing Authority published its preliminary recommendations into how to make the sector more competitive, Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, said it was good the recommendations were "customer focused."
Craig Donaldson, chief executive of Metro Bank, said banks needed to be called on to set out all their charges to enable customers to make an informed decision.
Asked whether he thought the CMA's inquiry went far enough, Mr Donaldson said: "It's a good first start but more is definitely needed."
The Competition and Marketing Authority has denied consumer groups claims that it is letting banks off the hook following an inquiry into the sector.
Alasdair Smith, banking inquiry chair at the Competition and Marketing Authority, told ITV News the package of measures they were proposing following their investigation would have a "radical effect on shaking up the banking sector."
He warned banks not to be complacent about the preliminary findings of the CMA's investigation into the sector and said those not offering a good service risked losing customers.
The competition watchdog's current account proposals do not go far enough with radical action needed to shake up the banking sector, campaigners have said.
The CMA inquiry has to bring about better banking, but these proposals don't go far enough.
The CMA's own evidence is that consumers are disengaged from the banking market, so better information and nudges to switch will not be enough.
The regulator now has six months to find more radical ways to promote switching, improve information for consumers and punish those banks who fail to treat customers fairly
The lack of focus by the CMA on free, if in credit, current accounts could be a missed opportunity to really shake up a model which is arguably unsustainable and stifles competition through its lack of transparency.
The biggest problem is the lack of competition in the overdraft market and it's there that people really do pay for their banking, so I would be keen to see rules that propose your new bank must match your existing overdraft, preferably at a cheaper rate, in a similar way to balance transfers and credit cards
The competition watchdog set out a number of measures that could increase competition in the banking sector and secure a better deal for consumers.
Among its provisional recommendations following an investigation into the banking sector,The Competition and Markets Authority suggested:
- Banks should be required to prompt customers to switch at certain trigger points, for example if their bank closes or overdraft charges change
- Making it easier for consumers to compare bank products by upgrading Midata, am online tool that allows consumers to access their banking data and compare their existing deal with other accounts
- Requiring banks to help raise public awareness of, and confidence in, switching bank accounts, through increasing their funding for a widespread and sustained advertising campaign.
Alasdair Smith, Chairman of the retail banking investigation, said: "Despite some encouraging developments, particularly in the shape of challengers that have entered the market in recent years, for too long banks have been able to sit back and take their existing customers for granted.
"We don’t think that customers will truly benefit from a more competitive marketplace until they can compare accounts more easily and feel confident that they can switch without risk, and that is why our provisional remedies are aimed at giving customers control."
There is no convincing evidence that ending free banking or breaking up the bigger banks would help to increase competition in the sector, the watchdog has said.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said some banks already had accounts which competed with free accounts through the rewards they offer and that free accounts give a "reasonable deal" to many customers.
Instead the underlying issue of lack of switching by consumers needed to be addressed, the report concluded.
The CMA is expected to publish a final report into the market in around April 2016.
Current account users could save £70 a year by switching their providers, while heavy overdraft users could save £260, the competition watchdog has found.
An investigation by The Competition and Markets Authority concluded that customers are faced with complex overdraft charges and limited information on product and service quality, making it difficult for them to know what they are paying and to compare banks and products.
Despite this, awareness and confidence in the Current Account Switch Service, set up in 2013 to make switching bank accounts easier, remains low, it found.
Just 3% of customers switched bank accounts in 2014, the investigation found.