Last Wednesday’s surprise Bank of England base rate cut was the subject of much speculation in the weekend money pages, along with the Icelandic banking crisis and the state of the UK’s building society sector. The Financial Times urged borrowers to sign up to existing tracker deals as soon as possible, after some of the best offers were withdrawn from the market in the week. Lenders such as Halifax, Standard Life, Lloyds TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester reacted quickly to the Bank of England’s decision on Wednesday to cut the base rate to 4.5 per cent, by removing a number of attractively-priced tracker rates. The Sunday Express and Mail on Sunday both welcomed the rate cut and revealed that almost five million borrowers with a variable rate mortgage will see their monthly bill fall as a result. However, the Independent on Sunday noted that such a reduction would normally have prompted a steady stream of mortgage rate cuts but that hasn’t been the case this time. Experts indicated that those with products linked to the standard variable rate will have to wait to see whether the full cut will be passed on.
Elsewhere, The Times had an article detailing how to be a model borrower in the present credit crisis and advised those remortgaging to use their savings wherever possible and to be realistic about property valuations. The Guardian provided a useful A-Z guide explaining how each UK building society is coping in the credit crunch and concluding that all are ‘in excellent health’.