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Bank of England holds Base Rate at 0.5pc

Robyn Hall

July 10, 2014

The Committee also voted to maintain the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion.

The minutes of the meeting will be published at 9.30 a.m. on Wednesday 23 July.

Barry Naisbitt, chief economist at Santander UK, said: “The Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to hold Bank Rate again today came as no surprise.

“Although last month’s Mansion House speech surprised markets, there has not been any economic news in the past month significant enough to support a change in view from last month.

“The decision was, however, made against a background of continued positive news on economic activity, with the survey indicators of economic activity continuing to show strong readings in June, indicating that economic growth in the second quarter is likely to show similar strength to the first quarter. In addition, the unemployment rate has fallen further.

“But so, somewhat unexpectedly, has inflation, which at 1.5% is markedly below the 2% target. This provides scope for the MPC to hold rates at their current level for a while longer.”

Ian Gray from Largemortgageloans.com added: “The news on the mortgage front has been relatively quiet, with the only big thing having been the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee announcing in June new guidelines for lenders in a bid to cool the London housing market. They decreed that banks should put a cap on loans where the amount is over four-and-a-half times the borrower’s annual income. The move was principally designed to target the overheated London market, as more borrowers in the Capital tend to stretch to those loan to income multiples.

“The news didn’t come as much of a surprise, nor do we think it will affect mortgage lending too much in the next year. All banks have implemented April’s much-discussed Mortgage Market Review guidelines form the Financial Conduct Authority, and we would venture to guess that most banks aren’t granting these high loan-to-income ratios to more than 85% of their applicants anyway.”
The previous change in Bank Rate was a reduction of 0.5% to 0.5% on 5 March 2009.

A programme of asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves was initiated on 5 March 2009.

The previous change in the size of that programme was an increase of £50 billion to a total of £375 billion on 5 July 2012.


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