11 months ago
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee recently voted to raise the Bank Rate from 4% to 4.25%. This is the 11th consecutive UK interest rate increase, lifting UK interest rates to highs not seen since October 2008, when the Bank Rate was 4.5%. The rate change comes as part of a plan to tackle inflation, which rose to 10.4% in February, but how does this rate change affect UK businesses? This article explores why the Bank of England has increased interest rates and what this means to business owners across the UK.
Put simply, the Bank of England (BoE) raises interest rates to control inflation. When inflation is high, the purchasing power of money decreases. The BoE raises interest rates in the hopes of reducing consumer spending, subsequently diminishing the demand for goods and services, which should lower prices and, subsequently, inflation.
The BoE's Bank Rate increase affects everyone in the UK, from consumers to business owners, but these are some of the critical points that UK businesses should be aware of following the interest rate increase.
When the BoE raises interest rates, borrowing is expected to become more expensive. This may mean that if your business relies on borrowing to fund your operations, you may need help accessing credit or that existing lines of credit become more costly.
Equally, businesses looking to borrow as part of plans to grow and invest may find that they need to reconsider their business plans due to the change in the cost of borrowing and the availability of funding opportunities.
If you are considering taking out a business loan, it may be beneficial to act fast, as interest rates on loans are likely to increase.
As higher interest rates increase the cost of living, consumers have less disposable income to spend. This typically leads to the demand for goods and services decreasing, meaning consumers spend less money at businesses like yours.
Unfortunately, not only B2C businesses are affected. This interest rate increase can cause a knock-on effect for B2B businesses, decreasing spending with them too.
Although an interest rate rise might make the British pound more attractive to foreign investors, this can cause the pound's value to increase. This has some pros and cons. While exports are likely to become more expensive, imports become cheaper. This can harm businesses that rely on exports but benefit those relying on imports.
The Bank of England's interest rate raise may help control inflation, but it will significantly impact UK businesses. Increased borrowing costs, decreased consumer spending, and exchange rate changes are just some of the ways your business may be affected over the coming weeks.
It's not all doom and gloom, though. There are still many growth opportunities for those with the intelligence and drive to take advantage of them. At BusinessComparison, we're here to help you achieve your growth goals by giving you access to the products and services you need to run your business effectively.
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