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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

One in three Britons would welcome interest rate hikes

The British public remains divided over impact of interest rate rise with almost one in three welcoming the prospect.

That rises to more than half of all pensioners, who say an interest rate hike would help them get a high return on their savings.

Those with a mortgage would inevitably prefer to see rates stay low, with two out of five people aged 45-54 expect to be worse off if they rise.

New research from insolvency trade body R3 and ComRes shows that 31% of British adults say an interest rate rise of one percentage point or more in the next 18 months would make them financially better off.

Another 31% say it would make no difference while just 28% said it would make them worse off.

Phillip Sykes, president of R3, said that an interest rate rise would create ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in roughly equal measure.

But the impact of rising mortgage rates could hit some homeowners hard. “An interest rate rise will have much more of an effect on those who expect to lose out than it will on those who expect to gain.

“The cost of added interest on a mortgage of hundreds of thousands of pounds is much greater than the benefit of increased interest on savings of tens of thousands of pounds."

Sykes said there was a small increase in the number of people concerned about the impact of a rate rise.

"This could allude to the fact debts have begun to rise again over the last year, following a lull caused by the recession. Access to credit has become easier recently.”

He added: “An interest rate rise will be a big test for British household finances.”

Sykes said there is a very clear generational divide when it comes to the impact of interest rates.

“The prolonged period of record low interest rates has had a particularly big impact on older people, many of whom are reliant on savings for income.

“The likelihood of someone over 65 entering insolvency has increased since 2009, whereas it has fallen for all other age groups.”

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