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Bad news for savers, pensions and holidaymakers as the Bank of England cuts its base rate to 0.25%

04 August 2016

Gocompare.com's head of money comments on how the base rate cut could be bad news for consumers

Gocompare.com's head of money, Matt Sanders, said: "The post-Brexit interest rate cut is likely to hit savers, pensions and holidaymakers alike. However, it could be good news for those looking to borrow or buy a home.

"Interest rates on savings have been pretty abysmal for some time now and a cut in the base rate isn't going to do anything to help with that.

"If your savings have been held in the same account for a while, it could be well worth seeing if your money could be better placed elsewhere.

"Alternatively, you could consider interest-paying current accounts, many of which pay more than most leading savings accounts. That said, it's likely that banks will cut the interest rates on these accounts also, however by how much remains to be seen.

"Regardless of the rate cut, you could still make your money work harder for you by having it in the right current account. Try Gocompare.com's midata current account comparison service, launched with the Treasury in 2015. This unique service securely uses your banking history to work out, in pounds and pence, the best current account for you."


"Lower interest rates mean that those on tracker mortgages will see their monthly repayments fall. However, in recent years the popularity of variable mortgage products has fallen dramatically, with most homebuyers opting for fixed rates to lock in some of the highly competitive deals.

"With the majority of people selecting fixed rate mortgages, it's unlikely an interest rate cut will do much to help homeowners with their monthly repayments. But with most fixed deals on the market already incredibly low, homeowners aren't really missing out on substantial savings if they're on one

"If you are on a tracker mortgage, you'll see your monthly repayments fall. If you're currently on a standard variable rate mortgage, this should be the kick you need to get out there, see what you can switch to and save yourself some money.

"For potential homebuyers, a cut in the base rate could be good news. The market is already extremely competitive with mortgage rates commonly available at 2% or less. The news today from the Bank of England should see these deals extended for the next few years. However, it's likely that lenders will become more stringent in their lending criteria and we could see arrangement fees begin to creep up."


"Bargain holidays may be a thing of the past; for the near future at least.

"An interest rate cut usually results in a weaker pound which means you'll get less foreign currency for your money. However, if you do have any Euros left from your last trip, you might be able to make a small profit on what you exchanged them for.

"If you are heading overseas one of the most cost effective ways to spend could be one of the many specialist foreign use credit cards on the market. These can offer fee-free foreign spending with bureaux-beating exchange rates.

"A weaker pound will also see the cost of imports rise, which means you'll likely see higher prices for foreign goods in shops."

Loans and credit cards

"A base rate cut should mean cheaper borrowing for consumers. However, borrowing rates are already incredibly low so it may take time for the Bank of England's announcement to have an impact on the best buy tables.

"That said, the real action in the credit card space is on introductory 0% periods on both purchases and balance transfers; with some extremely long periods available to consumers at the moment. In some cases customers can have up to 41 months 0% on balance transfers, making a potential cut to card APR less of an issue.

"While there are good deals available, the best rates will still be reserved for customers with a good credit history and new regulation means that banks are tougher than ever when it comes to affordability and credit checks.

"Using a comparison site with a smart search facility can help you get an idea of the cards you could be eligible for, without hurting your credit rating."


"A rate cut is bad news for pensions across the board. Government bond yields are already poor and will likely suffer further with a lower interest rate.

"With enormous pension deficits of an estimated £900 billion, this cut will impact both returns on existing pension incomes and future pension returns.

"Companies with large pension deficits will also feel the pressure to top up their pension pots with money they may have otherwise allocated to wage rises."

Matt Sanders added: "While forecasts for the economy are mixed following Brexit, it's not all doom and gloom. At the moment there are a range of competitive deals on the market for switchers to take advantage of and potentially save hundreds of pounds a year.

"What is more, with all the technology available to empower consumers, such as comparison sites, online calculators and midata - it's never been easier for households to find out whether they're getting a good deal, and if they're not, to do something about it."

Gocompare.com's top tips on getting your financial products and household bills in shape:

1. Plan ahead: In order to give yourself time to review your arrangements and make sure that you're still getting a good deal, diarise key dates including renewal dates, expiry dates of fixed rates or tariffs, the end of introductory offers, etc.; 

2. Don't accept insurance renewal quotes or energy tariff changes without first checking that the new price you are being offered is competitive;

3. As well as comparing prices and headline rates, check the small print of the deal you are being offered.  Make sure that you understand all the charges, any penalties, exclusions and terms and conditions you will be required to meet; 

4. Use a comparison website - they provide quick and up-to-date information on a wide range of financial products and services. Remember, by setting up a free account with a price comparison site and telling them when your renewal is due, you'll get handy reminders emailed to you when it's time to switch again.