MPC holds base rate at 5.25%

The Bank of England\'s Monetary Policy Committee has held interest rates at 5.25%.

The decision comes despite expectations that there could be up to three interest rate cuts this year, the first of which came last month as the rate was slashed to 5.25%.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders, which is predicting three cuts this year, says base rate is just one of many factors that determine the cost of funds to lenders.

The trade body says that even if further interest rate cuts emerge, it should not be assumed that this will automatically result in a cut in lenders’ standard variable rates or discounted rates.

Research from BM Solution reveals that brokers are also expecting further interest rate cuts this year.

Nearly half of brokers (49%) questioned believe that the interest rate won’t dip below 5% this year.

More than a third expect rates to drop as low as 4.5%, which would require another three reductions.

The vast majority of brokers (83%) believe that they have seen the rate peak for 2008, believing that 5.5% was the highest it would be this year.

Just over a third of brokers believe that the year will end with a rate of 4.75%, whilst 47% think 5% is more likely.