HSBC and Santander have suspended new mortgage deals and Nationwide had increased its rates amid fears homeowners could be forced into selling their homes or take up a second job to combat ‘catastrophic’ rises in their monthly repayments.
The three banking giants, along with Lloyds, which today also paused some of its products, account for around half of the mortgage market in Britain.
Lenders have taken the step after analysts warned the base rate could surge to six per cent next spring, after the UK’s Sterling plunged in response to Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget announcement last Friday, in which he revealed a historic £45billion in tax cuts.
It comes amid fears the Bank of England will further raise interest rates to counter the plunging pound – increasing repayments for the average household by up to £800 per month, or £9,600 annually, by the middle of next year.
Others to have pulled or amended deals include Clydesdale Bank, Scottish Building Society, Leek United Building Society, Nottingham Building Society, Bank of Ireland and Paragon Bank.
The Bank of England’s chief economist Huw Pill, speaking at the International Monetary Policy Forum, today reaffirmed its readiness to take action to prevent soaring inflation.
He said: ‘I think it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that all this will require a significant monetary policy response. Let me leave it there.’
Mr Pill said there will be ‘challenging times’ to bring inflation down to the current two per cent target, with recent market conditions having created ‘additional challenges’.
But he added that Mr Kwarteng’s budget will provide a stimulus to the economy, adding that his costed fiscal announcement set for November will be ‘helpful’.
There will be “challenging times” to bring inflation back to the regulator’s 2% target, Mr Pill said.
Recent market conditions have created “additional challenges”, he added.
The government’s mini-budget last Friday will act as a stimulus to the economy, he said.