The Bank of England is the UK’s central bank. As the UK’s central bank, one of our main jobs is to keep inflation low and stable.
One of the ways we do that is by setting the official interest rate, known as Bank Rate. This is the single most important interest rate in the UK, as it acts as a reference, or ‘base’ rate, for all sorts of other financial products.
For over 300 years, the official interest rate has been positive (more than zero). The earliest rate we have on record was 6% in 1694. Since then, the official interest rate has ranged from 17% (in November 1979) to 0.1% (in March 2020).