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Bank of England increases base rate to 4% – what the rise means for your mortgage and savings

The Bank of England has increased the base rate from 3.5% to 4%. 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.

It's the tenth time in just over a year that the Bank has increased rates after it first lifted them to 0.25% from 0.1% in December 2021.

The hike follows a drop in the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation to 10.5% in the 12 months to December 2022, down from 10.7% in November. The Bank of England currently predicts inflation will continue to fall gradually over the first half of 2023.

Base rate rises will affect most mortgages unless they're fixed. If you have a mortgage and want to check what your bank or building society is doing in response to the rise, we've included responses from mortgage providers below. Similarly, if you're a saver, we've included what's likely to happen to your savings rates.

See our Mortgages and Homes and Savings hubs for guides, calculators and more.

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 6.84% 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 4% and the rate is SVR minus one percentage point, it's 3%.

  • 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 £27 increase in your monthly payments on a £100,000 mortgage.

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.

Is your lender raising mortgage rates? 

PROVIDER CHANGE TO TRACKER MORTGAGES CHANGE TO STANDARD VARIABLE RATE (SVR) MORTGAGES
Bank of Ireland Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar Up from 6.59% to 7.09% on 1 Mar
Bank of Scotland Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar Up from 7.95% to 8.45% on 1 Mar
Barclays TBC TBC
Clydesdale TBC TBC
Co-op Bank TBC TBC
Coventry Building Society Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar TBC. Currently 6.34%
First Direct  TBC TBC. Currently 6.79%
Halifax Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar Up from 6.99% to 7.49% on 1 Mar
HSBC Up 0.5 percentage points from 2 Feb TBC. Currently 6.79%
Leeds Building Society Up 0.5 percentage points from 2 Feb TBC. Currently 6.99%
Lloyds Bank Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar Up from 6.99% to 7.49% on 1 Mar
Metro Bank Up 0.5 percentage points from customer's next payment date TBC. Currently 7%
Nationwide
Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar
TBC. Currently 6.99%
NatWest TBC TBC
Newcastle Building Society TBC TBC
Post Office

Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar

TBC. Currently 6.59%
Principality Building Society TBC TBC. Currently 6.45%
RBS TBC TBC
Sainsbury's TBC TBC. Currently 5.99%
Santander Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar Up from 6.75% to 7.25% from 1 Mar
Skipton Building Society

Up 0.5 percentage points from 16 Feb

TBC. Currently 6.29%
TSB Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar Up to 7.49% from 1 Mar
Ulster Bank TBC TBC
Virgin Money Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Apr TBC. Currently 7.74% (7.49% if you've had a Virgin Money mortgage for 7+ years)
West Brom Building Society Up 0.5 percentage points from 1 Mar Up from 5.49% to 5.99% from 1 Mar
Yorkshire Bank

TBC

TBC
Yorkshire Building Society

Up 0.5 percentage points from 5 Mar
(though monthly payments won't increase till March 2024, unless you contact it and ask to pay more)

TBC. Currently 6.99%

Last updated 6 February 2023. This table refers to domestic mortgage rates only – changes may differ for buy-to-let mortgages.

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.

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 2 February), but they could change at any time. For a full round-up, see our daily-updated Top savings guide:

  • Up to 3.03% on easy access. New app-only bank Kroo pays 3.03% on up to £85,000 in its current account. It's free to open, you needn't switch bank to get it, and there's no hard credit-check.
  • Up to 4.16% on a one-year fix. SmartSave currently pays the top one-year fix at 4.16%, with a minimum of £10,000 to pay in. Alternatively, if you've less to save and/or want your interest paid out to you monthly, take a look at Atom Bank's 4.15% account. You'll need a minimum of £1,000 to open it.
  • Up to 4.45% on a two-year fix. App-only Atom Bank pays the top two-year rate at 4.45% and can be opened with a minimum of £1,000, or for an online account, SmartSave's 4.36% account is top of the shop, but must be opened with a minimum of £10,000.

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