BoE ending policy which helped lower mortgage rates

The Bank of England is is ending one of its policies which has helped lower mortgage rates Photo: PA

The Bank of England is ending one of its policies which has helped lower mortgage rates. It's been stung into action as house prices in some parts of the country accelerate leading some people to worry about a bubble forming.

Last year, the Bank and the Treasury launched The Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) which lowered costs for banks which they passed on to borrowers.

From the end of the year the scheme will no longer apply to household lending - which may see interest rates on mortgage rise from their record lows and perhaps make it more difficult for borrowers to get access to cash to buy homes.

Critically, lending to small businesses is not affected and the Bank will continue to encourage commercial lenders to make loans available to them.

The Bank of England governor made the announcement today. Credit: PA

The Governor of the Bank, Mark Carney, is explaining more at a press conference now but in a prepared statement he says:

The changes announced today refocus the FLS where it is most needed - to underpin the supply of credit to small businesses over the next year - without providing further broad support to household lending that is no longer needed.

FLS is obviously a victim of its own success. Launched in the midst of dreadful economic data it was a welcome shot in the arm for the country.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney. Credit: PA

A year ago, net lending in Britain was actually falling by £2.9 billion in the last quarter of 2012.

But things have turned around and in the second quarter of this year net lending was up £1.6 billion a year. With house prices racing ahead Dr Carney has called an end to one of the emergency treatments.

Help to Buy, the other scheme to stimulate the housing market (and the more controversial one) is unaffected. We may hear more about that shortly.