3 Aug 2012

Interest rates held by Bank of England

7:34 am on 3 August 2012

The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at 0.5% for August and also held off from any more stimulus measures.

Its Monetary Policy Committee also decided on Thursday not to increase its programme of quantitative easing, having lifted it by £50 billion last month.

Under QE, the Bank pumps fresh money into the banking system to try to boost lending and thus the wider economy.

An additional £50 billion was contributed last month and the total value of the Bank's QE programme now stands at £375 billion.

The Bank said in a statement that its QE programme would take another three months to complete and that its scale would "be kept under review".

The European Central Bank also kept its main rate at a record low of 0.75%, after cutting it from 1% last month.

ECB president Mario Draghi said the crisis was worsening and the bank was ready to help countries facing high borrowing costs by buying their debts at lower rates than on the open markets.

Mr Draghi said last week that the bank was ready to do "whatever it takes" to shore up the euro.

However, the BBC reports there was no information on when bond buying might start, how much it could spend, or for how long.