The era of record low interest rates in the U.K. has helped salvage the country's economy - but also created further problems.
Five years ago this week, on 5 March 2009, the Bank of England took the dramatic step of cutting interest rates to their lowest level in more 300 years.
The Bank of England would never give "time-specific" guidance on the U.K's first interest rate hike, Ben Broadbent, Bank of England monetary policy committee member - and rumored leading contender for the deputy governorship - told CNBC.
UK homeowners and businesses should be braced for an interest rate rise around the time of next year's general election, a senior Bank of England policymaker said on Thursday in the most explicit guidance on borrowing costs yet provided by Threadneedle Street.
An early increase in borrowing costs was ruled out by the governor of the Bank of England as he insisted that this week's faster than expected fall in unemployment will not lead to an automatic interest rate rise that might choke off the recovery.
Interest rate rises would tip millions of already-precarious households into financial disaster, according to economists, who warn it would cost the average family nearly £3,000 a year in extra mortgage payments if rates returned to levels that were typical before the credit crunch.
The Bank of England (BoE) left interest rates at a record low of 0.5 percent and its asset purchase target unchanged at £375 billion ($617 billion) as expected.
The business secretary, Vince Cable, has warned that interest rates may have to rise to constrain a "raging housing boom" in London and the south-east.
Four months ago, when unemployment stood at 7.8%, the Bank of England issued forward guidance on interest rates.
Britain's unemployment rate has slipped to a four-and-a-half year low of 7.4%, edging closer to the "threshold" at which the Bank of England has said it will consider raising interest rates.