UK Interest Rate History / Graph & Facts

Quick UK Interest Rate Stats
Current UK Interest Rate0.10%
Last movement19 Mar 2020
Highest on record 17.00% on Nov 1979
Lowest on record 0.10% on 19 Mar 2020

The UK base rate is the interest rate at which commercial banks, like Barcleys and Natwest, borrow from the Bank of England.

In theory, lower the interest rate, the cheaper loans become for borrowers, because generally, lenders will base their rates according to the base rate. Similarly, the base rate will generally determine the interest rate at which banks will set their savings account products.

Essentially, low interest rates are generally good for borrowers, but bad for savers.

Below is a graph showing the change in the Bank of England base rate since 1975.

MonthBase RateChange
19 Mar 2020 0.10% 0.15
11 Mar 2020 0.25% 0.50
02 Aug 2018 0.75% 0.25
02 Nov 2017 0.50% 0.25
04 Aug 2016 0.25% 0.25
05 Mar 2009 0.50% 0.50
05 Feb 2009 1.00% 0.50
08 Jan 2009 1.50% 0.50
04 Dec 2008 2.00% 1.00
06 Nov 2008 3.00% 1.50
08 Oct 2008 4.50% 0.50
10 Apr 2008 5.00% 0.25
07 Feb 2008 5.25% 0.25
06 Dec 2007 5.50% 0.25
05 Jul 2007 5.75% 0.25
10 May 2007 5.50% 0.25
11 Jan 2007 5.25% 0.25
09 Nov 2006 5.00% 0.25
03 Aug 2006 4.75% 0.25
04 Aug 2005 4.50% 0.25
05 Aug 2004 4.75% 0.25
10 Jun 2004 4.50% 0.25
06 May 2004 4.25% 0.25
05 Feb 2004 4.00% 0.25
06 Nov 2003 3.75% 0.25
10 Jul 2003 3.50% 0.25
06 Feb 2003 3.75% 0.25
08 Nov 2001 4.00% 0.50
04 Oct 2001 4.50% 0.25
18 Sep 2001 4.75% 0.25
02 Aug 2001 5.00% 0.25
10 May 2001 5.25% 0.25
05 Apr 2001 5.50% 0.25
08 Feb 2001 5.75% 0.25
10 Feb 2000 6.00% 0.25
13 Jan 2000 5.75% 0.25
04 Nov 1999 5.50% 0.25
08 Sep 1999 5.25% 0.25
10 Jun 1999 5.00% 0.25
08 Apr 1999 5.25% 0.25
04 Feb 1999 5.50% 0.50
07 Jan 1999 6.00% 0.25
10 Dec 1998 6.25% 0.50
05 Nov 1998 6.75% 0.50
08 Oct 1998 7.25% 0.25
04 Jun 1998 7.50% 0.25
06 Nov 1997 7.25% 0.25
07 Aug 1997 7.00% 0.25
10 Jul 1997 6.75% 0.25
06 Jun 1997 6.50% 0.25
06 May 1997 6.25% 0.31
30 Oct 1996 5.94% 0.25
06 Jun 1996 5.69% 0.25
08 Mar 1996 5.94% 0.19
18 Jan 1996 6.13% 0.25
13 Dec 1995 6.38% 0.25
02 Feb 1995 6.63% 0.50
07 Dec 1994 6.13% 0.50
12 Sep 1994 5.63% 0.50
08 Feb 1994 5.13% 0.25
23 Nov 1993 5.38% 0.50
26 Jan 1993 5.88% 1.00
13 Nov 1992 6.88% 1.00
16 Oct 1992 7.88% 1.00
22 Sep 1992 8.88% 1.00
05 May 1992 9.88% 0.50
04 Sep 1991 10.38% 0.50
12 Jul 1991 10.88% 0.50
24 May 1991 11.38% 0.50
12 Apr 1991 11.88% 0.50
22 Mar 1991 12.38% 0.50
27 Feb 1991 12.88% 0.50
13 Feb 1991 13.38% 0.50
08 Oct 1990 13.88% 1.00
06 Oct 1989 14.88% 1.13
08 Sep 1989 13.75% 0.13
04 Sep 1989 13.88% 0.04
31 Aug 1989 13.84% 0.09
25 May 1989 13.75% 0.87
25 Nov 1988 12.88% 1.00
25 Aug 1988 11.88% 1.00
08 Aug 1988 10.88% 0.50
21 Jul 1988 10.38% 0.50
07 Jul 1988 9.88% 1.00
24 Jun 1988 8.88% 0.50
10 Jun 1988 8.38% 0.50
03 Jun 1988 7.88% 0.50
17 May 1988 7.38% 0.50
08 Apr 1988 7.88% 0.50
17 Mar 1988 8.38% 0.50
01 Feb 1988 8.88% 0.50
03 Dec 1987 8.38% 0.50
04 Nov 1987 8.88% 0.50
23 Oct 1987 9.38% 0.50
06 Aug 1987 9.88% 1.00
08 May 1987 8.88% 0.50
28 Apr 1987 9.38% 0.50
18 Mar 1987 9.88% 0.50
09 Mar 1987 10.38% 0.50
15 Oct 1986 10.88% 1.00
23 May 1986 9.88% 0.50
18 Apr 1986 10.38% 0.50
11 Apr 1986 10.88% 0.50
19 Mar 1986 11.38% 1.00
15 Jan 1986 12.38% 1.00
26 Jul 1985 11.38% 0.50
11 Jul 1985 11.88% 0.50
19 Apr 1985 12.38% 0.50
28 Mar 1985 12.88% 0.50
20 Mar 1985 13.38% 0.50
28 Jan 1985 13.88% 2.00
14 Jan 1985 11.88% 2.38
23 Nov 1984 9.50% 0.25
19 Nov 1984 9.75% 0.25
05 Nov 1984 10.00% 0.50
17 Aug 1984 10.50% 0.25
16 Aug 1984 10.75% 0.25
09 Aug 1984 11.00% 0.50
08 Aug 1984 11.50% 0.50
11 Jul 1984 12.00% 2.00
06 Jul 1984 10.00% 1.12
29 Jun 1984 8.88% 0.18
10 May 1984 9.06% 0.50
14 Mar 1984 8.56% 0.25
07 Mar 1984 8.81% 0.25
03 Oct 1983 9.06% 0.50
10 Aug 1983 9.56% 0.12
09 Aug 1983 9.44% 0.12
14 Jun 1983 9.56% 0.25
13 Jun 1983 9.81% 0.25
14 Apr 1983 10.06% 0.25
13 Apr 1983 10.31% 0.25
15 Mar 1983 10.56% 0.44
12 Jan 1983 11.00% 1.00
26 Nov 1982 10.00% 0.87
02 Nov 1982 9.13% 0.25
01 Nov 1982 9.38% 0.25
12 Oct 1982 9.63% 0.50
30 Sep 1982 10.13% 0.12
29 Sep 1982 10.25% 0.13
28 Sep 1982 10.38% 0.12
27 Sep 1982 10.50% 0.13
27 Aug 1982 10.63% 0.25
26 Aug 1982 10.88% 0.12
25 Aug 1982 11.00% 0.13
24 Aug 1982 11.13% 0.12
17 Aug 1982 11.25% 0.13
16 Aug 1982 11.38% 0.12
04 Aug 1982 11.50% 0.06
02 Aug 1982 11.56% 0.07
30 Jul 1982 11.63% 0.12
29 Jul 1982 11.75% 0.06
28 Jul 1982 11.81% 0.13
26 Jul 1982 11.94% 0.12
21 Jul 1982 12.06% 0.07
13 Jul 1982 12.13% 0.12
12 Jul 1982 12.25% 0.25
09 Jul 1982 12.50% 0.13
08 Jun 1982 12.63% 0.50
20 Apr 1982 13.13% 0.13
19 Apr 1982 13.00% 0.13
16 Apr 1982 13.13% 0.12
10 Mar 1982 13.25% 0.38
25 Feb 1982 13.63% 0.18
22 Feb 1982 13.81% 0.07
22 Jan 1982 13.88% 0.12
21 Jan 1982 14.00% 0.13
20 Jan 1982 14.13% 0.12
19 Jan 1982 14.25% 0.06
18 Jan 1982 14.31% 0.07
04 Dec 1981 14.38% 0.18
25 Nov 1981 14.56% 0.07
09 Nov 1981 14.63% 0.43
06 Nov 1981 15.06% 0.07
28 Oct 1981 15.13% 0.13
12 Oct 1981 15.00% 1.00
15 Sep 1981 14.00% 1.31
25 Aug 1981 12.69% 0.69
11 Mar 1981 12.00% 2.00
25 Nov 1980 14.00% 2.00
03 Jul 1980 16.00% 1.00
15 Nov 1979 17.00% 3.00
13 Jun 1979 14.00% 2.00
05 Apr 1979 12.00% 1.00
01 Mar 1979 13.00% 1.00
08 Feb 1979 14.00% 1.50
09 Nov 1978 12.50% 2.50
08 Jun 1978 10.00% 1.00
15 May 1978 9.00% 0.25
08 May 1978 8.75% 1.25
12 Apr 1978 7.50% 1.00
09 Jan 1978 6.50% 0.50
28 Nov 1977 7.00% 2.00
17 Oct 1977 5.00% 0.50
10 Oct 1977 5.50% 0.50
19 Sep 1977 6.00% 0.50
12 Sep 1977 6.50% 0.50
15 Aug 1977 7.00% 0.50
08 Aug 1977 7.50% 0.50
16 May 1977 8.00% 0.25
02 May 1977 8.25% 0.50
25 Apr 1977 8.75% 0.25
18 Apr 1977 9.00% 0.25
12 Apr 1977 9.25% 0.25
31 Mar 1977 9.50% 1.00
21 Mar 1977 10.50% 0.50
10 Mar 1977 11.00% 1.00
03 Feb 1977 12.00% 0.25
31 Jan 1977 12.25% 1.00
24 Jan 1977 13.25% 0.75
10 Jan 1977 14.00% 0.25
29 Dec 1976 14.25% 0.25
20 Dec 1976 14.50% 0.25
22 Nov 1976 14.75% 0.25
07 Oct 1976 15.00% 2.00
13 Sep 1976 13.00% 1.50
24 May 1976 11.50% 1.00
26 Apr 1976 10.50% 1.50
08 Mar 1976 9.00% 0.25
01 Mar 1976 9.25% 0.25
09 Feb 1976 9.50% 0.50
02 Feb 1976 10.00% 0.50
26 Jan 1976 10.50% 0.25
19 Jan 1976 10.75% 0.25
05 Jan 1976 11.00% 0.25
29 Dec 1975 11.25% 0.25
01 Dec 1975 11.50% 0.25
17 Nov 1975 11.75% 0.25
06 Oct 1975 12.00% 1.00
28 Jul 1975 11.00% 1.00
05 May 1975 10.00% 0.25
21 Apr 1975 9.75% 0.25
24 Mar 1975 10.00% 0.25
10 Mar 1975 10.25% 0.25
17 Feb 1975 10.50% 0.25
10 Feb 1975 10.75% 0.25
27 Jan 1975 11.00% 0.25
20 Jan 1975 11.25% 0.00

Who determines interest rates?

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decides the fate of interest rates. They meet up every month and decide what the rates will be in the foreseen future.

Who forms the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)?

The MPC is made up of the governor of the Bank, two deputy governors, a chief economist, a marketing director and four external members, appointed by the chancellor for a three year term. Each member has a vote of equal weight.

So they decide how much interest I pay?

Yes, that’s right. Initially, before 1997, it was the Treasury that set interest rates, but Gordon Brown granted the MPC powers to set rates when Labour came to power in 1997.

The idea of handing the responsibility over to the MPC was to prevent governments from using interest rates as a political tool. Additionally, to give a degree of independence between the economy and political concerns.

However, the government has the right to instruct the Bank on what rate to set when needed.

What is the main purpose of the MPC?

The Monetary Policy Committees (MPC) main role is to control inflation according to the government’s inflation target, which is set each year in the Budget.

Why do interest rates increase?

Essentially, rates are increased to control inflation. The concern is that rising prices will fuel higher pay demands which could push prices yet higher in an inflationary spiral.

Rates are increasing to encourage saving and discourage borrowing because that’s what the bank of england think will keep inflation at a sensible level.

What is inflation?

Inflation is an increase in the general level of prices for goods and services. It is measured as an annual percentage increase. As inflation rises, every pound you own buys a smaller percentage of a good or service. Basically, things are getting more expensive.

How do interest rates affect the housing market?

Changes in interest rates affect mortgage rates, either instantly or in the future if you are in a fixed-rate or discount deal. Depending on which way the change went, your mortgage payments will either increase or decrease.

Interest rates can also affect property prices. If interest rates rise, the property market could lose its appeal because mortgages become more expensive, consequently having direct impact on property prices. Of course, the opposite affect could happen if interest rates lower.

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