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The Bank of England has kept UK interest rates at 0.5%. Not only that but the Bank also kept the size of its bond-buying stimulus programme unchanged at £375 billion. The decision comes more than six years after the record low was introduced. The Bank’s Monetary Polity Committee (MPC) made the decision.

Mortgage borrowers have benefited from lower repayments and the half-dozen years of ultra-low interest rates have cut savings’ returns. In April, ultra-low inflation turned negative to -0.1%, which has put on hold expectations about the Bank raising rates in 2015.

The Bank claimed in its quarterly inflation report last month that it was likely to raise the cost of borrowing in the middle of next year. On a different note, the recent ONS figures confirmed that the UK gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter. This was the worst result since the end of 2012.

In all previous meetings so far this year, the nine-strong MPC has voted unanimously to keep rates on hold.

Nationwide building society has reported a 54% rise in annual pre-tax profit to £1.04 billion. It has now regained its position as the UK’s second largest mortgage lender. The firm said that they accounted for nearly a third of new mortgage lending last year. In the year before, the building society saw a £667 million profit.

After nine years as chief executive, Graham Beale is expected to retire next year, Nationwide announced. In the mean time, the search for a replacement would begin. Beale served on the board of the building society for 13 years and first became the chief executive shortly before the financial crisis hit in 2007.

As the pace of house price growth eased, the firm expected growth to moderate in the years ahead but their net interest income, which Nationwide receives from savings deposits and its own investments, rose £458 million to £2.8 billion. Nationwide also said that savings deposits grew by £1.9 billion.

Net mortgage lending which are new mortgages advances minus those repaid in full, amounted to £7.1 billion in the year to the 4th April, which was down from £9.9 billion the year before. Nationwide therefore had a 31.2% share of the UK mortgage market.