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30Th month for bank rate held at 0.5%

The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee voted again last week to keep bank rate at 0.5 per cent for the 30th consecutive month.

Minutes from the MPC’s previous meeting in August showed all nine members voted in favour of keeping base rate at 0.5 per cent after having been split 7-2 in favour in July.

The last rate change was on March 5, 2009, when it was reduced from 1 per cent to 0.5 per cent.

The committee also voted to keep its programme of quantitative easing at £200bn.

Lentune Mortgage Consultancy director Stuart Gregory says: “The way the economy has gone recently, it is no surprise that base rate was held. My view is we will probably not see any movement until the second quarter next year.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club managing director Ben Thompson says: “We expect rates to remain unchanged for a long time with quantitative easing kept under constant review.

“This will be tremendous news for borrowers but quite the opposite for savers, many of whom have had to dig deep into their savings to boost their income and cover costs.”

Countrywide group chief executive Grenville Turner says: “The MPC’s decision to keep base rate unchanged is not surprising as concerns continue to grow about the considerable challenges facing the UK economy and the lack of progress in the economic recovery.”

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