UK bank base rates
UK bank base rates are available from a number of print publications and websites. This page will guide you to the best sources online and within the ICAEW Library.
What's on this page?
- Official bank rate
- Retail bank base rates
- Finance house base rates
- Other historical sources
Official bank rate
The Official Bank Rate from 1694 to the present day is available from the Bank's of England's website.
The Bank has held sole responsibility for setting the base rate since 1997. Its decisions are minuted and published online by the Monetary Policy Committee.
Retail bank base rates
Retail banks usually match the Official Bank Rate but they are not obliged to do so. Some of them, but not all, publish their base rates online.
The journals Moneyfacts and Business Moneyfacts publish the current and previous base rates for 15 retail banks. The Library holds Moneyfacts from 2012 onwards and Business Moneyfacts from 2010 onwards. We can provide information from these publications to ICAEW members. Non-members may be able to view these publications in local reference libraries.
Finance house base rate
The Finance House Base Rate (FHBR) was set and published by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) until 31 December 2019. The FLA described the rate as "a base on which to calculate lending charges in certain industrial and commercial contracts where it is appropriate to vary rates during the period of the agreement."
The FLA website includes a Finance House base rate history from 1970 to the end of 2019, when it ceased to exist.
A three page briefing note is available explaining the history of the FHBR, the reasons for the cessation of the FHBR and possible approaches to handling contracts which reference the FHBR after 31st December 2019.
Other historical sources
Abstract of British Historical Statistics
Abstract number 17 has a table showing Changes in Bank Rate 1797-1939, reproduced from the Bank of England.
The magazine published a monthly Data Briefing from July 1995 to September 2011 showing base rates for the previous two years. The Library holds a complete archive of this title.
The British Economy: Key Statistics 1900-1970
Contains the annual ranges of bank rates from 1900 to 1970. Statistics are drawn from the Times Newspaper.
The Office for National Statistics publication Financial Statistics published retail bank base rates and the FHBR until July 2011 - see tables 7.1J and 7.1K. The Library holds the January issues from 1995 until 2012; they contain the figures for 1 January 1982 to 1 September 2009.
GEE Tax Factbook
Table 7:10.2 lists bank rates from 24th August 1939 to 6th December 2007.
Moneyfacts and Business Moneyfacts
These journals show the official bank rate for the last 25 years and the FHBR for the last 5 years. The Library holds Moneyfacts from 2012 onwards and Business Moneyfacts from 2010 onwards.
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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.