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Creditfix LB 03-2017

Interest Rate Rise Winners and Losers

The decision last week by the Bank of England Monetary Committee to raise interest rates from 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent will affect most consumers, some in a good way and some bad.

Savers will hope to see the rate rise passed on by banks and building societies having long suffered historically low returns on their savings.

An increase of 0.25 per cent on savings would mean an extra £25 per year on £10,000.

However, there is no guarantee that the rise will be passed on by the financial institutions who are often very slow in raising rates on savings accounts following interest rate rises. Just 50 per cent of banks took action to raise savings rates after the last increase in November.

It is worth checking how your savings have been affected and it might be time to switch your bank or building society if you are not getting the best deal. Cash ISAs should also be checked.

What is almost sure to rise immediately are the rates on variable or tracker mortgages.

The 0.25 per cent rise will add around an extra £150 per year on a £100,000 mortgage with the rise likely to be in place very quickly for those on variable rate or tracker mortgages.

On the bright side, over 70 per cent of property owners are on fixed rate mortgages, so will not be affected until the fixed rate period ends.

Other winners from the interest rate rise should be pensioners who have annuities.

People with private pensions are likely to have purchased an annuity for a fixed price, which then pays them an annual income.

Annual returns on annuities increase as interest rates do, so retirees should certainly welcome any interest rate rises as they bring a decent pay rise.

Though the latest interest rate rise is likely to cost consumers more for loans and mortgages, it should be remembered that the base interest rate is still very low at 0.75 per cent.

The average base rate between 1971 and 2018 was ten times higher at 7.5 per cent. It is still a very good time for borrowing funds, despite the latest rise.

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