The Bank of England today announced it is holding the base rate at 0.5% for the fifth consecutive month.

Many commentators expect base rate to remain low for a number of months further.

The stable interest rate environment means now is a good time for savers to check what they're earning on their money and switch elsewhere, if necessary.

Over the past few weeks, savings rates have been steadily rising (see the Top Savings guide for the best accounts).

Homeowners with mortgages linked to the base rate or their lender's standard variable rate have generally seen monthly payments plummet over the past year.

Prior to the present benign period, there were six months of base rate falls, culminating in the current historic low rate.

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Base rate held