Mortgage borrowers "unfairly trapped" on high interest rates when their lenders were nationalised are launching legal action against the companies they say are responsible. Some 150,000 homeowners are said to have been overcharged for years, unable to switch to a cheaper deal after their mortgages were transferred.
CPI inflation was 1.5% in November, unchanged from the previous month, according to the latest ONS statistics. CPI fell from 1.7% in September to the lowest level seen since November 2016. CPIH inflation, The ONS' headline measure which includes owner occupiers’ housing costs, was also 1.5% in November, unchanged from October.
Gross residential mortgage lending totalled £25.5 billion in October, an annual fall of 0.9%, according to the latest data. The figures also show that purchase approvals by the main high street banks in October 2019 were 3.0% higher and remortgage approvals were 12.7% higher.
The Bank of England has downgraded the UK’s economic growth forecasts on the back of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and the global economic slowdown. The Bank also held interest rates at 0.75% as it significantly reduced growth projections for the next three years after modelling the impact of the Prime Minister’s deal to leave the EU. Latest projections from the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) forecast a slump in GDP of around 1% by the end of 2022, compared to the forecasts from August. GDP forecasts were downgraded to 1.2% for 2020 from 1.3%, and to 1.8% in 2021 from 2.3%, while the figure for 2019 was bumped up to 1.4% from the previous forecast of 1.3%. The committee said that three quarters of the projected slump was driven by the “weaker global environment” and recent “moves in asset prices”.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted by a majority of 7-2 to maintain Bank Rate at 0.75%, with Jonathan Haskel and Michael Saunders voting to reduce interest rates to 0.50%. Alongside Brexit-related volatility, the MPC noted that underlying UK GDP growth has "slowed materially this year" and a small margin of excess supply has opened up. The slowdown reflects weaker global growth and the domestic impact of Brexit-related uncertainties. CPI inflation remained at 1.7% in September and is expected to decline to around 1.25% by the spring.