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Britain Cuts Rates to Lowest Since 1694

That's when the Bank of England was established
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2016 9:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – In an attempt to shore up a post-Brexit economy, the Bank of England did something Thursday it hasn't done since 2009: cut interest rates. The rates went from 0.5% to 0.25%, the lowest they've been since the bank's beginnings in 1694, the Atlantic reports. And there may even be another cut coming, bringing rates "close to, but a little above, zero," says Mark Carney, the head of the UK's central bank, per the AP. Other measures announced Thursday to give the British economy a push: a cheap lending program aimed at banks, as well as a bond-buying stimulus initiative. From around the Internet:

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  • Both the Express and the Guardian lay out what the rate cut means for consumers, including the "pain" it will bring for nest-egg builders, the "good news" it offers to those holding variable-rate mortgages, and the changes people can expect to their retirement funds.
  • The banks will have their own repercussions to face. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the pressures in front of them and how they're being "coy" on how the rate drop may affect savers.
  • Quartz goes back through the last seven years in the UK, examining the "signals" that were sent over that period about future potential rate changes.
  • Local small-business owners talked to Elite Business right before the rate change was approved to give their take on the decrease.
  • Opposing viewpoints: an opinion piece in the Independent that says "the time is right" for such a change, while an Evening Standard commentary notes the dangers of adjusting this "instrument of social justice."
(Read more Britain stories.)

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