Bank of England meeting

An in-depth look at the Bank of England meeting and announcement – including its role in shaping the UK economy and how it affects traders.

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Bank of England meeting

An in-depth look at the Bank of England meeting and announcement - including its role in shaping the UK economy and how it affects traders.

Call +65 63905133 or email accountopening@ig.com.sg to talk about opening a trading account. We’re here 24 hours a day, from Monday to Friday.

Contact us: +65 6390 5133

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Bank of England meeting dates

The MPC meets eight times a year, following a briefing by Bank of England staff, with each meeting lasting a total of three days. The meetings involve a discussion of the latest economic data from the Bank of England and what policies should be implemented to help the MPC achieve its aims.

The committee votes on the third day, with the interest rate decision published the following Thursday at 7am (UK time). The committee also publishes an inflation report after every other meeting.

2021 MPC dates

Date of MPC announcement Monetary policy report publication
4 February Yes
18 March No
6 May Yes
24 June No
5 August Yes
23 September No
4 November Yes
16 December No

What happened at the last Bank of England meeting?

At the last Bank of England meeting, which concluded on 5 May 2021, the Monetary Policy Committee decided to keep interest rates at 0.1% and set monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target. It will maintain its existing programme of UK government bond purchases at its pre-existing target of £875 billion.

The Committee also outlined its inflation and updated economic activity projections in its May Monetary Policy Report.

The next announcement isn’t expected until 24 June 2021.

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How does the Bank of England meeting affect traders?

MPC meetings are important dates in CFD traders’ calendars as they set the official interest rate in the UK. This UK interest rate is the rate at which the Bank will lend money to commercial banks. However it also influences the rates set by commercial banks and other lenders, causing ripple effects across the UK economy. These include changes in demand for bonds, stocks, currency and other securities, as well as consumer spending and inflation. The committee also decides whether quantitative easing (QE) is required. This is a measure the Bank can use to inject money directly into the economy with the aim of boosting spending. Traders and investors need to pay close attention to MPC meetings and adapt their investment strategies and portfolios in response to any policy decisions.

Why is the interest rate important to traders?

Traders search for any indication of what the UK interest rate and monetary policies will be in the future. If they are able to get their predictions right, they can change their strategy ahead of the announcement and maximise their profits. An interest rate hike, for example, is likely to increase the value of the pound but reduce the value of stocks, bonds, indices (e.g. FTSE 100) and other securities. Lowering interest rates or implementing quantitative easing, on the other hand, is likely to have the opposite effect. Traders look at the composition of the MPC and make predictions about the policies each member will vote for, as well as broader economic factors, which could influence the committee.

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In what way does the MPC influence inflation?

The MPC is responsible for setting monetary policy, with the aim of meeting the government’s inflation targets. The MPC has two policy tools which it can use to influence the rate of inflation. These are the BOEBR and asset purchase facility (APF), both of which allow the Bank to influence the supply of money across the economy.

Setting the UK interest rate

The Bank of England Base Rate (BOEBR), also known as the official bank rate, is the rate of interest charged by the BoE to commercial banks for overnight loans. It is the base rate of interest for the UK economy and has a strong impact on the short and long term interest rates charged by commercial banks. When the base rate is lowered, banks are encouraged to borrow more money from the BoE and lower their own interest rates. This reduces the cost of borrowing for businesses and consumers, enabling them to borrow and spend more. Conversely, if the base rate rises, borrowing money from the BoE is discouraged, leading banks to increase their own interest rates. This increases the cost of capital for businesses and consumers, making borrowing more expensive and incentivising saving. These effects ripple across the global economy, affecting the financial markets, FX rates, and eventually economic factors like unemployment and inflation.

Quantitative easing

Quantitative easing (QE) is the process by which a bank creates new money electronically and uses it to purchase assets. The BoE’s QE programme is called the asset purchase facility (APF) and has mainly been used to buy government bonds from private sector businesses, plus a limited number of high quality commercial bonds. This injection of cash into the economy increases the demand for the purchased assets, causing their prices to rise and their yields to fall. Those selling the bonds will therefore look to invest the proceeds elsewhere to maximise their return, resulting in a money multiplier effect. The result of this cash injection is therefore wide-ranging, affecting spending and the liquidity of assets across the economy and reducing the cost of borrowing for businesses and consumers. If inflation rates increase beyond the government’s target, the MPC has the ability to sell a portion or all of its assets to reverse the effect.

Who are the key people on the MPC?

The MPC is made up of five members of the Bank of England – the governor, three deputy governors and the chief economist – and four economic experts appointed by the chancellor of the exchequer.

Each member has one vote with the governor voting last; this makes their vote decisive in case of a tie. All members serve fixed terms (three years for HM Treasury appointees) before being replaced or reappointed.

Analysts will often try to predict what policies committee members will vote for by classifying them as monetary hawks and doves.

2021 committee members

Name Title
Andrew Bailey Governor of the Bank of England
Ben Broadbent Deputy governor for monetary policy
Sir Dave Ramsden Deputy governor for markets and banking
Sir Jon Cunliffe Deputy governor for financial stability
Andy Haldane Chief economist and executive director of monetary analysis and research
Michael Saunders External member
Dr Gertjan Vlieghe External member
Silvana Tenreyro External member
Jonathan Haskel External member

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What is the Bank of England’s MPC meeting?

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting is a regular session held by the MPC, in which it sets the UK’s base interest rate (and other monetary policies). The committee’s aim is to choose an interest rate that will enable the government’s inflation target to be met. This target is currently 2%.

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1 Based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, June 2020).
2 The views of each member are not fixed and are likely to vary over time as a result of changes in the economy and the government’s inflation rate targets. This table illustrates where Bank of England members are thought to stand at the time writing (7 January 2020).

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