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Bank of England set to leave interest rates unchanged

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has written to the Chancellor to explain why inflation is more than 1% off its 2% target Credit: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/PA Images

Interest rates look set to stay on hold at 0.5% on Monday when the Bank of England announces its first post-election policy decision.

Rates have been at the historic low for six years and the slide in inflation to zero has pushed back expectations for the timing of a hike into 2016.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will announce its latest decision tomorrow having met on the day of the poll on Thursday and on Friday.

Meanwhile minutes of the April meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) suggested a "hawkish" turn as it pointed to the possibility that inflation might recover more quickly than previously expected.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation was at zero in February and March - rather than turning negative as some expected - meaning it might now have avoided this risk.

The Bank has said it expects CPI, which has been under pressure amid the sliding cost of oil and the supermarket price war, to turn negative "at some point the coming months".

However the latest meeting also said another cause of low inflation - the strength of the pound making imports cheaper - may have been feeding through to CPI more quickly than expected - meaning that a bounce-back could also come sooner.

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No change in interest rates or quantitative easing

No change in interest rates or quantitative easing Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The Bank of England left interest rates on hold at 0.5% today.

The decision means the UK has now seen six years of rates at their current level, since they were slashed in March 2009.

The Bank also left the scale of its quantitative easing (QE) programme to boost the money supply unchanged at £375 billion.

Treasury to sell of remaining Lloyds Bank stake

The Treasury will begin to sell off part of its remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group within days, according a plan launched by Chancellor George Osborne.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reports:

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'No surprise' Co-op Bank failed stress test, chief says

Co-operative Bank chief executive Niall Booker said it was "no surprise" that the bank failed the stress test as it is in the early stages of its turnaround plan.

The bank is much stronger than a year ago.

As the regulator notes today, we have achieved the target of building our capital base and the actions we have taken during the first year of our business plan have made the bank more secure for the benefit of all stakeholders.

– Co-operative Bank chief executive Niall Booker

Lloyds and RBS narrowly pass bank stress test

Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland have narrowly passed a Bank of England test to see how lenders would cope with severe economic stress.

Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland have narrowly passed a Bank of England stress test . Credit: PA Wire composite

The test, using the position of banks and building societies at the end of 2013, found both RBS and Lloyds would be susceptible to such a crisis.

However, improvements and changes to their plans this year meant only the Co-op was required to submit a new plan.

Co-operative Bank fails Bank of England stress test

The Co-operative Bank has been ordered to shore up its balance sheet by axing £5.5 billion in loans after it failed a Bank of England stress test.

The Co-operative Bank has failed a Bank of England stress test. Credit: PA Wire

The Bank found that a severe downturn with house prices plunging 35% would wipe out the Co-op's capital because of the effect on its risky commercial property and sub-prime home loans.

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