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Knowledge guide to base rates

The base rate is an interest rate set by banks as a benchmark for pricing loans. It’s frequently encountered in the home loans market; many banks and building societies offer base rate tracking mortgages. This knowledge guide will show you the best sources for base rates on the web and in the Library.

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Expert help for your enquiries and research.

Base rates are listed in a number of print volumes and web based services. All the print sources mentioned here are available in the Library and staff can consult them on your behalf.

Looking for the official rate?

The UK Official Bank Rate is the rate paid on deposits with the Bank of England reserve. It's set by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee in response to economic conditions. The retail banks usually follow this lead, though they have the freedom not to.

A Minimum Lending Rate was set by the Bank of England until 20th August 1981. Following this, rates were set by the government through the Bank of England. Since 1997, responsibility for setting the base rate rests solely with the Bank of England.

When using any base rate data it's important to remember that different sources are used to compile these figures. In some instances the data is taken from just one bank, in other cases it's a compilation. One indicator of multiple data sources is a spread of rates on the same day, eg 5-5.25. In describing the information available we have tried to indicate the sources used at the time of writing.


Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this Knowledge Guide is correct. However, the content of sites changes frequently and members should satisfy themselves that the information they contain is suitable for the purposes they wish to use it for. We would be grateful to receive notification of any links that do not work at the library email address above.