Consumer impact after the Bank of England base rate rise

Three-quarters of savers have failed to see an increase in their interest rate since the BoE base rate rise.

Updated

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Changes in the base rate are supposed to impact many people’s money life directly, and can be good news or bad news depending on whether you’re saving or borrowing, and whether the rate goes up or down. But is that really what happens?

When the Bank of England (BoE) increased the base rate back in August, many consumers hoped this would see the amount they earn on their savings rise as well. However, our latest research has revealed that 3 in 4 savers (74%) have seen no change to their savings account rates.

The BoE upped the interest rate by 25 basis points from 0.5% to 0.75% in August 2018. While this has seen almost all lenders increase the interest rate that consumers pay on things like mortgages, a lot of people with savings accounts have seen little return on their money.

Date Official Bank Rate
Aug-06 4.75%
Sep-06 4.75%
Oct-06 4.75%
Nov-06 5.00%
Dec-06 5.00%
Jan-07 5.25%
Feb-07 5.25%
Mar-07 5.25%
Apr-07 5.25%
May-07 5.50%
Jun-07 5.50%
Jul-07 5.75%
Aug-07 5.75%
Sep-07 5.75%
Oct-07 5.75%
Nov-07 5.75%
Dec-07 5.50%
Jan-08 5.50%
Feb-08 5.25%
Mar-08 5.25%
Apr-08 5.00%
May-08 5.00%
Jun-08 5.00%
Jul-08 5.00%
Aug-08 5.00%
Sep-08 5.00%
Oct-08 4.50%
Nov-08 3.00%
Dec-08 2.00%
Jan-09 1.50%
Feb-09 1.00%
Mar-09 0.50%
Apr-09 0.50%
May-09 0.50%
Jun-09 0.50%
Jul-09 0.50%
Aug-09 0.50%
Sep-09 0.50%
Oct-09 0.50%
Nov-09 0.50%
Dec-09 0.50%
Jan-10 0.50%
Feb-10 0.50%
Mar-10 0.50%
Apr-10 0.50%
May-10 0.50%
Jun-10 0.50%
Jul-10 0.50%
Aug-10 0.50%
Sep-10 0.50%
Oct-10 0.50%
Nov-10 0.50%
Dec-10 0.50%
Jan-11 0.50%
Feb-11 0.50%
Mar-11 0.50%
Apr-11 0.50%
May-11 0.50%
Jun-11 0.50%
Jul-11 0.50%
Aug-11 0.50%
Sep-11 0.50%
Oct-11 0.50%
Nov-11 0.50%
Dec-11 0.50%
Jan-12 0.50%
Feb-12 0.50%
Mar-12 0.50%
Apr-12 0.50%
May-12 0.50%
Jun-12 0.50%
Jul-12 0.50%
Aug-12 0.50%
Sep-12 0.50%
Oct-12 0.50%
Nov-12 0.50%
Dec-12 0.50%
Jan-13 0.50%
Feb-13 0.50%
Mar-13 0.50%
Apr-13 0.50%
May-13 0.50%
Jun-13 0.50%
Jul-13 0.50%
Aug-13 0.50%
Sep-13 0.50%
Oct-13 0.50%
Nov-13 0.50%
Dec-13 0.50%
Jan-14 0.50%
Feb-14 0.50%
Mar-14 0.50%
Apr-14 0.50%
May-14 0.50%
Jun-14 0.50%
Jul-14 0.50%
Aug-14 0.50%
Sep-14 0.50%
Oct-14 0.50%
Nov-14 0.50%
Dec-14 0.50%
Jan-15 0.50%
Feb-15 0.50%
Mar-15 0.50%
Apr-15 0.50%
May-15 0.50%
Jun-15 0.50%
Jul-15 0.50%
Aug-15 0.50%
Sep-15 0.50%
Oct-15 0.50%
Nov-15 0.50%
Dec-15 0.50%
Jan-16 0.50%
Feb-16 0.50%
Mar-16 0.50%
Apr-16 0.50%
May-16 0.50%
Jun-16 0.50%
Jul-16 0.50%
Aug-16 0.25%
Sep-16 0.25%
Oct-16 0.25%
Nov-16 0.25%
Dec-16 0.25%
Jan-17 0.25%
Feb-17 0.25%
Mar-17 0.25%
Apr-17 0.25%
May-17 0.25%
Jun-17 0.25%
Jul-17 0.25%
Aug-17 0.25%
Sep-17 0.25%
Oct-17 0.25%
Nov-17 0.50%
Dec-17 0.50%
Jan-18 0.50%
Feb-18 0.50%
Mar-18 0.50%
Apr-18 0.50%
May-18 0.50%
Jun-18 0.50%
Jul-18 0.50%
Aug-18 0.75%
Sep-18 0.75%
Nov-18 0.75%
Dec-18 0.75%
Feb-19 0.75%
Mar-19 0.75%

Has the interest rate on your main/primary savings account gone up over the past 3 months?

Consumer awareness of these changes appears to be low, with only 44% of savers sure about whether the interest on their accounts has risen or not. Of the 1 in 4 (26%) who believe their interest rate has increased, only half of them (12%) know how much it has risen by. Surprisingly, 16% believe that the interest rate on their savings has in fact dropped since August.

Interest rate Percentage
My interest rate increased and I know by how much 12.15%
I think my interest rate increased, not sure by how much 13.92%
I think interest rate has decreased 16.20%
I don't know if my interest rate has gone up or not 25.85%
I know that my interest rate has stayed the same 31.89%

These findings come ahead of Thursday’s interest rate announcement by the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), who will discuss changes to the base rate, which is predicted by Finder’s panel of economic experts to hold at 0.75%, with Brexit uncertainty cited as the reason for this.

Generational differences

Young Brits aged 18–38 are the most out of touch with how August’s increase has affected their savings, with fewer than a third (31%) of savers aware of any changes. Those over the age of 74 are the savviest, with 3 in 5 (61%) savers claiming to know what an interest rate rise means for them.

% understanding the impact of the interest rate rise

Generation Understanding the impact
Silent (Born 1928–1945) 61%
Boomers (Born 1946–1964) 55%
Generation X (Born 1965–1980) 41%
Millennials (Born 1981–1996) 32%
Postmillennial/Generation Z (Born after 1996) 30%

Demographic differences

The North East is the region most in the dark about the interest rate rise, with two-thirds (67%) unaware of how their savings have been affected. Half of those in Yorkshire and the Humber (51%) claim to understand the implications of the rise, making this the UK’s most informed region. Worryingly, 2 in 5 of these residents (42%) reported that their interest rate has remained the same.

% understanding the impact of the interest rate rise

Region Percentage
East of England 48%
East Midlands 44%
London 43%
North East 33%
North West 41%
Northern Ireland 43%
Scotland 44%
South East 42%
South West 45%
Wales 46%
West Midlands 44%
Yorshire and the Humber 51%
“The last few years have been difficult for savers, with major high street banks providing very low rates of interest to customers. The increase to the base rate in August was warmly welcomed by consumers; however, these findings show that most savers have not been rewarded with better interest rates.

“Whilst it’s clear that not all banks have passed on the interest rate increase and customers haven’t always been kept in the loop about changes, there are a number that have. We would always recommend savers shop around for the best rate, ensuring you get a better return on your savings.”

– Jon Ostler, UK CEO at finder.com

Methodology

Finder.com commissioned Onepoll to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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