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BoE's Broadbent says UK better placed for rate hike

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LONDON  - Britain is "a little bit" better placed to cope with possible interest rate increases, Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said on Friday, a day after the central bank said borrowing costs may have to rise more than markets expect.

"I think there may be some possibility for interest rates to go up a little bit," Broadbent told BBC radio.

"One shouldn't overdo this. If and when it happens there will be a lot of talk about the first rate rise since 'x'. But it's just a rate rise and we got perfectly used to rate rises of this size in the past."

The BoE has not raised interest rates for more than a decade but has signaled that it might increase borrowing costs, possibly starting in 2018, as inflation remains above its 2 percent target and unemployment is at a four-decade low.

However, the BoE also said on Thursday it was worried about the impact of Brexit on Britain's economy, raising questions about when interest rates might actually rise.

Broadbent told the BBC that uncertainties about Brexit appeared to be putting companies off new investment, despite an increase in profits for exporters following the fall in the value of the pound since the vote in June last year to exit the European Union.

He also said the BoE's monetary policy makers were not very concerned about the debts of British households because consumer credit, relative to incomes, remained much lower than its level before the financial crisis.

"It is absolutely right that the prudential side of the Bank ... should be concerned about pockets of debt that are growing very, very quickly," he said. "The MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) does not think this is a first-order macro issue for the economy."

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Muslim Global: BoE's Broadbent says UK better placed for rate hike
BoE's Broadbent says UK better placed for rate hike
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