Base rate down to 2% but its more bad news for savers while cost of borrowing remains high

04 December 2008 / by None
Director at Fairinvestment.co.uk, James Caldwell comments on the bank of England's decision to cut the base rate by 1 per down to 2 per cent - the lowest level in more than half a century.

"Today's interest rate cut from 3% down to 2% is a further attempt by the Bank of England to kick-start our economy out of a full blown recession, but unless it is passed onto borrowers the attempts could be futile.

"Banks are all too quick to pass the cut onto savers – last month it took just days for the 1.5% cut to be shaved off saving account rates and it is expected to happen this time too - but they have been far less willing to reflect the cut in mortgage rates.

"So far it seems that the base rate cuts have been in vain; the cost of living has continued to increase, savings rates have continued to fall while mortgage rates have failed to reflect the full cut. So, the big question remains – will lenders pass this rate cut onto consumers and businesses?

"The cost of mortgage borrowing needs to fall to take pressure off people's household budgets. Repossessions and arrears are on the rise and until interest rates fall significantly this and the fall in retail spending will not be stopped.

"VAT has been cut to 15 per cent in an attempt to get consumers to buy, but if the base rate cut is not passed on to people with mortgages and loans, it is unlikely that consumers will be willing to splash their cash.

"Lenders need to act fast this time, because there is only so much the Bank of England can do – this latest cut must be passed on."