Bank of England increases base rate to 4.5% - what the rise means for your mortgage and savings
The Bank of England has increased the base rate from 4.25% to 4.5% taking it to its highest level since 2008. This rate is used by the central bank to charge other banks and lenders when they borrow money – and so it influences what borrowers pay and what savers earn.
Martin's take on the base rate rise
I have a mortgage. What happens now?
The vast majority of mortgage holders in the UK have a fixed-rate mortgage, so for most, nothing will change. The key points for mortgage holders are:
- Fixes are fixed. But sort a new deal soon if yours is coming to an end. As the name suggests, rates – and the amount you pay – WON'T change during the fixed period.
- Lenders MAY raise standard variable rate (SVR) or 'discount' mortgages. These move at the whim of lenders. You'll usually be on an SVR after your fix or tracker ends. Currently, the average SVR is 7.74% and this is likely to rise following today's announcement. A 'discount' mortgage, meanwhile, follows the SVR at a set rate, for example, if the SVR is 7% and the rate is SVR minus one percentage point, it's 6%.
- On a tracker mortgage? Rates will increase. As the name suggests, these 'track' the base rate, so mortgage costs will go up. In general, this latest rise means about a £12 to £14 increase in your monthly payments on a £100,000 mortgage.
|PROVIDER||CHANGE TO TRACKER MORTGAGES||CHANGE TO STANDARD VARIABLE RATE (SVR) MORTGAGES|
|Bank of Ireland||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun||Under review. Currently 7.34%|
|Bank of Scotland||TBC||TBC|
|Barclays||Under review||Under review. Currently 7.99%|
|Coventry Building Society||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun||No change. Currently 6.99%|
|First Direct||Up 0.25 percentage points from 11 May||Under review. Currently 6.99%|
|HSBC||Up 0.25 percentage points from 11 May||Under review. Currently 6.99%|
|Leeds Building Society||Up 0.25 percentage points from 11 May||Under review. Currently 7.49%|
|Metro Bank||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun||Under review. Currently 7.75%|
Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun
|Under review. Currently 7.74%|
|Newcastle Building Society||Up 0.25 percentage points from 11 May||Under review. Currently 5.19%|
Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun
|Under review. Currently 7.34%|
|Principality Building Society||TBC||TBC|
|Sainsbury's||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jul||Under review. Currently 5.99% (going up to 6.74% 1 Jun, not linked to current base rate rise)|
|Santander||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun||No change. Currently 7.5%|
|Skipton Building Society||
Up 0.25 percentage points from 15 May
|No change. Currently 6.54%|
|TSB||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun. Currently 6.5%|
|Virgin Money||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jul||Under review. Currently 8.24%|
|West Brom Building Society||Up 0.25 percentage points from 1 Jun||Under review. Currently 6.24%|
Up 0.25 percentage points from 11 Jun
|Under review. Currently 7.49%|
|Yorkshire Building Society||
What should I do with my mortgage?
What you should do depends on what sort of mortgage you have now and whether you're close to the end of your initial mortgage term:
- If you're on a fixed rate. Nothing will change with your existing deal, however, any new deal you remortgage to in future may now be more expensive, as interest rates on fixed mortgages have shot up dramatically over the past 12 months. If you're close to the end of your current term, you might want to search for a new mortgage deal now. You can usually lock in a mortgage offer three to six months ahead of time.
If you've six months or longer to go on your fix, you'll either need to wait till you're in the final three to six months of your initial deal, or pay the charge to leave your current mortgage early if you want to switch now.
- If you're on a standard variable rate (SVR) or 'discount' mortgage. If you're on the SVR, you're free to remortgage to a new deal at any time. SVRs tend to be pricey, so it's likely you could save by switching your mortgage – do check, and talk to a mortgage broker about your options.
If you're on a discount mortgage that has gone up, you may be able to remortgage without penalty, but do check. If not, again, you'll either need to wait till you're in the final three to six months of your initial deal, or pay the charge to leave your current mortgage early.
- If you're on a tracker mortgage. If you're concerned about this rise, or further rate rises, check now to see if you can switch to a better deal – though currently many existing tracker mortgage rates are far cheaper than today's fixes. Also check if there are penalties to leave your current deal now – many trackers do have them.
If you do have early repayment charges, you'll either need to wait till you're in the final three to six months of your initial deal, or pay the charge to leave early. If not, then you're free to switch to another mortgage.
If looking for a new deal, see our Remortgage guide or First-time buyers' guide for help, plus our Mortgage Best Buys comparison tool for the top deals. And if you're in need of a mortgage broker, visit our Cheap mortgages guide for the full breakdown.
I'm a saver. What happens now?
The base rate increase could affect all types of savings accounts. In general, savers benefit from base rate rises – though some high street banks can be slow to pass increases on to customers, and new best-buy deals don't always emerge straightaway. Here are some of the rate rises we know about so far:
- Santander will increase rates on its tracked savings products by 0.25 percentage points from 2 June and by 0.15 percentage points from 2 June for non-tracked products.
- Skipton Building Society will increase its rates by 0.25 percentage points from 22 May, with its maximum rate increasing from 3.25% to 3.5%.
- Virgin Money will increase its rates by up to 0.25 percentage points from 1 June, with its limited-access ISA increasing from 3.25% to 3.5% and limited-access saver increasing from 3.3% to 3.55%.
- West Bromwich Building Society will increase its rates by 0.25 percentage points from 17 May across all of its savings products.
- Yorkshire Building Society will increase its rates by 0.25 percentage points from 17 May, with its instant access accounts increasing from 2.8% to 3.05% and restricted access accounts increasing from 3% to 3.25%.
There have been some concerns about the stability of the banking sector following the collapse of tech-specialist Silicon Valley Bank, and two other US banks - and a crisis at one of Europe's biggest, Credit Suisse. Remember, if you've saved with an authorised bank in the UK, you benefit from the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – see our Savings safety guide for full details.
Savers should wait a few days before switching
Whatever rate you're on currently, it may be worth waiting a few days to see if best-buy rates improve before switching. These are our current top picks (as at Monday 15 May), but they could change at any time. For a full round-up, see our daily-updated Top savings guide:
- Up to 3.71% on easy access. App-only Chip currently offers the top rate for easy-access accounts at 3.71% (minimum £1). If you don't want to save through an app, Shawbrook Bank pays 3.65% (minimum £1,000). This can be opened online and allows unlimited withdrawals, though with a minimum of £500 a time.
- Up to 5% on a one-year fix. Allica Bank currently pays the top one-year rate at 5% (minimum £10,000) with interest paid at maturity. Or, top for monthly interest and less to pay in is StreamBank at 4.9% (minimum £1,000).
- Up to 4.96% on a two-year fix. OakNorth Bank currently pays the top two-year rate at 4.96% (minimum £1) with interest paid at maturity, or, top for monthly interest, is Hodge Bank at 4.95% (minimum £1,000).
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