UK bank rate since 1694

There are many different interest rates in the UK but one of the most important is the official bank rate (sometimes also referred to as the Bank of England base rate). This is the rate at which the Bank of England lends to banks. It has a direct influence on interest rates in the domestic banking system and as such the bank rate is a reference level for the rates which the London clearing banks pay on deposits and charge on loans.

Changes to the bank rate are recommended by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which meets once a month to consider changes to the bank rate (more info on the MPC).

Further information on the official bank rate can be found here at the BoE web site.

Over the years this interest rate has been referred to variously as the Bank Rate, Minimum Lending Rate, Minimum Band 1 Dealing Rate, Repo Rate and, today, the Official Bank Rate. But we can regard them all as essentially the same thing. And we can concatenate these rates over the years to create a continuous record of base rates from 1694.

For reference the rates for different periods are shown in the following table.

Period Rate used
1694 – 1972 Bank Rate
1972 – 1981 Minimum Lending Rate
1981 – 1986 Minimum Band 1 Dealing Rate
1997 – 2005 Repo Rate
2006 – Official Bank Rate

The following chart plots this continuous times series of base rate levels from 1694. [NB. The X-axis is not a uniform scale.]

BoE bank rate [1694-2016]

The following table gives some statistics by century on this bank rate data from 1694.

1700s 1800s 1900s 2000s All
Count 2 408 383 31 828
Mean 4.5 4.3 8.0 4.3 6.0
Standard Deviation 0.7 1.6 3.6 1.4 3.3
Median 4.5 4.0 7.5 4.8 5.0
Maximum 5.0 10.0 17.0 6.0 17.0
Minimum 4.0 2.0 2.0 0.5 0.5

The Count row gives the number of times the bank rate was changed in each respective century.

Until 1973 the average bank rate had been around 4%, but then shot up to levels not seen before – reaching a maximum of 17% in 1980.

Volatility (measured by standard deviation) of the bank rate also increased at the same time to levels not seen before.

The bank rate we have today, 0.5%, can be clearly seen to be unprecedented. Previously, the lowest rates seen had been 2% in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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History of companies joining and leaving the FTSE 100 Index since 1984

To keep the FTSE 100 Index up to date and in accordance with its purpose, the constituents of the index are periodically reviewed. For example, companies can fall out of the index when their market capitalisation falls below a certain level, and they will be replaced by companies with a higher market cap. Changes can also be made as a result of M&A activity. Very roughly, following each review on average two companies leave the index and are replaced by two new ones.

The reviews take place in March, June, September and December. The reviews are implemented at the close of the third Friday of the month and take effect the following Monday. The review decisions are announced 12 business days before the implementation date. (Note: the date of announcements was changed from March 2014.)

The following table lists the entry and exit dates for each company that has joined or left the FTSE 100 Index since 1984. For example, if you want to know what years Jaguar was in the FTSE 100, this is where to look.

Note: Company names do change over time and therefore companies may appear more than once in the table. But care has been taken to minimise this as much as possible.


See also

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