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Shares in BT slipped in early trading on Monday after the UK watchdog slapped the telecoms company with a record-breaking £42m fine.

The fine, plus an agreement to pay £300m to rivals, centred on the use of a loophole that artificially cut the amount BT paid to companies when it failed to connect a line in time.

Ofcom said the penalty — more than 10 times the previous record in telecoms — reflected the seriousness of the breach and that BT, the operator of the national network, had abused its position in the market.

At publication time shares in the group were down 1.6 per cent, at 320p.

Read the full story from our Nic Fildes here.

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