Bank of England Votes to Keep Interest Rates Down | Prepaid365

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5 September 2014

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The Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England has voted to keep interest rates at a record low for at least another month.

The current rate of 0.5% has been in place for five years and no change in the immediate future appears likely.

Despite an improving economic climate and two of the nine members voting for change last month, a similar situation has once again occurred in September.

A raise to 0.75% was suggested and led to speculation among many economists about when it would occur.

A decision that will not be rushed

This speculation continues to intensify but BoE governor Mark Carney has always said the situation will not be rushed.

He has said that the MPC will consider a rate rise when unemployment falls below 7%, a figure it is close to but is yet to surpass.

While a rate rise might be seen in some quarters as inevitable, the Bank is currently standing firm which has led to an expectation that rates will rise in the early part of 2015.

According to Mr Carney, the UK economic recovery is not balanced and is too reliant on consumer spending, further factors for the delay in rate change.

As a result, rates will stay at 0.5% throughout September while the outcome of the vote will be published in the MPC minutes, due later in the month.

The potential impact of interest rate changes

Given that two of nine voted for change in August, it will be interesting to see if that figure increased at the last meeting as it would give an indication of how likely a change is to occur sooner rather than later.

However, slow wage growth could mean a potential rise could have a massive impact on many households and businesses.

For instance, analysts suggest that a 0.25% rise could translate into mortgages increasing by £250 annually.

Falling inflation in July, according to the latest official figures, eased some of the pressure for change but some economists believe the General Election next year could impact upon the decision.

There is a belief that monetary policy should not be seen as a tool that could potentially influence the vote, and it is for that reason why some see a change this side of Christmas as preferable.

Preparing for rate changes

While a change is fairly inevitable, the important thing for many people in the UK is to ensure they are prepared for it, and this means taking control of their finances.

Careful financial management will ensure money is available to deal with potentially higher costs, while limiting spending now could provide additional funds in the long-term.

One approach to this could be to use a prepaid card for essential spending, as only funds loaded onto a card can be spent.

This would mean finances could be carefully managed and budgeted, while the lack of a credit facility would prevent debts from building up.

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