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Interest rates will rise to 5%, warns MPC member

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Paul Fisher, the executive director of markets and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee has warned that interest rates will return to 5%.

He says a normal rate is around 5%.

In the interview, he says: “We hope people are aware that interest rates at some point will go up again and that they will head back to a normalised position.

“What we need to do is to trigger the mindset in people that that’s where rates will eventually go back to.”

Fisher’s warning follows a Bank research paper indicating that more than 7m homeowners are at risk of rate rises. Two thirds of mortgage borrowers are currently on variable rates, it found, compared with roughly half in a typical year.

On current wages, if rates were at 5%, households would be spending more of their disposable income on debt interest than at any time in the past 20 years, the Bank’s analysis showed.

Fisher told The Daily Telegraph that he had no timetable for rate rises, as any decision “will be conditioned on economic growth and prospects”, and that the Bank would proceed cautiously.

He says: “Obviously the first time we raise base rates that will be a big signal to people. But you’d like to think independent financial advisers and others will be bringing this home to people when they are arranging their mortgages and other borrowings.

“We have to bear in mind savers have being doing particularly badly while borrowers have been benefiting. We can’t favour one group over another.”

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