View more on these topics

Interest rates kept on hold at 0.5%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has once again voted to keep the base rate on hold at 0.5%.

It has also opted to maintain the size of the Asset Purchase Programme at £200bn.

Interest rates have been on hold at 0.5% since March 2009.

Six members of the MPC voted to keep the base rate at its historic low of 0.5% in May, while Andrew Sentance opted to increase it by 0.5% and Spencer Dale and Martin Weale voted for a 0.25% hike, as they did in April.

Regarding the stock of asset purchases, eight members of the MPC voted in favour of keeping it on hold in May, while Adam Posen voted to increase it by £50bn as he did the previous month.

Ben Thompson, managing director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, says: “The gap between bank rate and inflation may be widening but there are precious few other indicators that provide a rationale for increasing BBR from its current rock bottom levels.

“The Bank remains in the thick of it; on the one hand needing to ensure that a sustainable economic recovery is baked in, on the other hand ensuring it does not lose its credibility as an independent rate setter that is capable of maintaining a controlled and low inflation economy. It’s a tough one that, but the recovery has to come first.”


Commission could push brokers to sell surveys

E.surv and Colleys are considering paying commission to mortgage brokers to sell private surveys. The surveying firms have previously launched pilot schemes where they offered commission to brokers, but the response was disappointing. However, at a recent Mortgage Strategy round table, Jack Saxton, head of surveying and valuations at Colleys’ parent Lloyds Banking Group, told […]

Skipton opens up its latest deals to all intermediaries

Skipton Building Society is offering its latest buy-to-let products to all mortgage brokers rather than just a few as it did with previous deals. The society relaunched into the buy-to-let sector in March but only offered deals through Legal & General, Openwork and PMS’ top 120 firms, The Business Mortgage Company and Connells Group. Deals […]

20 Jobs are on the line at Openwork

Openwork has placed 20 staff at risk of redundancy in an attempt to reduce costs ahead of the Retail Distribution Review. A spokesman for Openwork says: “As part of ongoing efforts to reduce operating costs in preparation for the introduction of the RDR, we have regrettably had to put at risk a small number of […]


Manage the rise in private rental sector

The Paragon Group of Companies’ boost in pre-tax profits to £39.5m emphasises the strong market landlords are operating in. The firm’s performance was driven by landlords, whose business is being determined by demand for rented accommodation, plus low interest rates. Landlords have never experienced such tenant demand in the modern era, certainly since the birth […]

Europe: Nursery slopes

After a flat year for European equities, in which the Artemis European Growth Fund outperformed, manager Philip Wolstencroft is (cautiously) optimistic about 2016.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up