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Will it be further three years for 0.5% bank rate?

The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee has kept bank rate at 0.5 per cent for the 36th consecutive month and has held its programme of quantitative easing at £325bn.

Last month, the MPC voted to increase QE by £50bn from £275bn. The MPC says it expects the latest round of QE to take two more months to complete and that a further round of asset purchases “will be kept under review”.

The minutes for last month’s meeting reveal that all nine MPC members voted to keep the base rate at 0.5 per cent. The minutes for March’s meeting will be published later this month.

Capital Economics chief UK economist Vicky Redwood says: “We think that base rate could stay at 0.5 per cent for another three years and while the consensus now thinks that the MPC is unlikely to extend its asset purchases any further, we still expect even more QE later this year.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club managing director Ben Thompson says he does not expect any changes to base rate or QE in the next few months.

He says: “Market wobbles still exist in terms of the eurozone and although we have seen some positive news in the economy since Christmas, it is way too early to claim sight of anything resembling green shoots just yet.

“The Bank of England will carry on with stimulative policy for many more months until we are demonstrably clear that the UK is out of the woods.”


Chelsea’s Matt Woodbridge to join Barclays Wealth

Chelsea Financial Services head of investment products Matthew Woodbridge is leaving the firm to join Barclays Wealth. Woodbridge is to leave Chelsea Financial Services on April 5 and will be joining Barclays Wealth as vice-president shortly afterwards. He will be working in the product team across tax-efficient vehicles such as VCTs and EIS, as well […]

Aegon UK pays out 93% of CI claims in 2011

Aegon UK paid out 93 per cent of all of its individual protection critical illness claims in 2011, up from 91 per cent the year before. Of the claims declined, 81 per cent were due to the definition of the CI not being met and 19 per cent were due to non-disclosure of important information. […]

Aviva backs the UK as life and pension profits rise

Aviva UK Life chief executive David Barral says the company is committed to staying in the UK after revealing a 6 per cent rise in group operating profits last year to £2.5bn. The preliminary results last week show UK long-term savings sales rose from £10.3bn in 2010 to £11.3bn last year. UK life and pension […]

‘We don’t have crystal ball,’ admits S&P chief

Standard and Poor’s has warned that ratings do not provide “a perfect crystal ball”. S&P managing director and head of financial services ratings Dominic Crawley said ratings are “opinions” which should feed into investment decisions, not dictate them. He said: “There is no guarantee we would not miss something in the future, we do not […]

The changing world of professional connections

The Legal Services Act of 2007, which opened up the legal market to competition, has put the cat among the professional pigeons. In the words of a 2015 Law Society report on what the legal profession is likely to look like in five years’ time: “Business as usual is not an option for many, if […]


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