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Majority of Investors Doubt Bank of England’s Interest Rate Prediction

54% of peer-to-peer lenders surveyed are not confident in the Bank of England’s claim that there will be more frequent increases to the interest rate in the next two years, according to the latest figures from Assetz Capital’s Q2 Investor Barometer.  

The peer-to-peer marketplace lender canvassed the views of its 34,400-strong investor community and found that 41% were confident in the central bank’s prediction that there will be more frequent increases to the interest rate. Just 4% were very confident in the claim.  

The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at 0.75% since August last year amid continued uncertainty over Brexit. In May, governor Mark Carney claimed that interest rate increases could be “more frequent” than expected if the economy performs as forecast, a claim that was reiterated in the central bank’s most recent Annual Report.

Stuart Law, CEO at Assetz Capital, said: “It’s unsurprising that our investors are sceptical about the Bank of England’s pledge given the present lack of a solid base for that claim. The Bank made similar noises last year before making a U-turn after inflation dropped in January, and the economic consequences of whatever form of Brexit we eventually see or don’t see are yet to be felt this year. We’ve also seen the temporary economic boost from Brexit related stockpiling and that now needs to unwind and is likely to suppress growth for a period.

Even if the Bank of England does increase interest rates to some degree at some point, it is unlikely to help bank and building society savers much as such base rate rises are seldom fully passed on, unlike borrowing costs to borrowers where base rates are nearly always passed on. 

Ensuring that SMEs and property developers can easily access important growth capital should be prioritised as a sustainable way to drive economic growth in the current climate, something that we continue in our drive to achieve as we approach £1bn lent to UK businesses to date.” 

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