Interest rates held and more QE on the way


There were no real surprises today when the Bank of England announced that interest rates would be held at 0.5 per cent for another month and that a further £50 billion of quantitative easing (QE) would also be pumped into the ailing economy over the next four months.

There has been so much QE now (today’s contribution takes the total to a whopping £375bn) that even commentators in the press have had enough writing about it. There is nothing much left to say: the economy is in the doldrums and there are few other options. Some are calling for yet another base rate reduction but the preferred course of action, for the Bank at least, is to print yet more money.

But it’s the same old story on the mortgage front. While interest rates haven’t moved, some lenders are raising their mortgage rates. ING Direct has announced that from August, borrowers on its standard variable rate (SVR) will pay 3.99 per cent interest, up from 3.5 per cent. It could be argued that ING Direct borrowers still have access to one of the cheapest SVRs, even after the increase. But that is small comfort to those borrowers who are going to have to pay more each month.

Advice is more crucial than ever. We’re just past the halfway point in the year so it’s as good a time as any to take a look at your mortgage and see whether you could do better. Is it possible to remortgage? Would you get a lower rate? Call us for a chat; you might just find that there is a cost-effective option available to you.

Jonathan Harris
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Jonathan Harris