The Bank of England today announced it is holding the base rate at its 0.5% historic low for the 27th consecutive month.

Some economists predicted there would be a hike during the spring though over the past few weeks that view has diminished. Many now expect an autumn rise, if at all this year.

Three members of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have previously voted for a rise to help curb high inflation but this has not been enough to force a hike.

The low interest rate environment has meant millions of homeowners are paying relatively cheap mortgage payments but savers have suffered due to the low returns on offer since 2008.