Slow Economy, Housing Woes Prompt Bank of England to Cut Rates

London–The Bank of England cut interest rates from 5.5 to 5.25 percent after housing and the economy in the U.K. declined, BBCNews reported Thursday.The international credit crisis also influenced the rate cut decision. The bank said in a statement that “the prospects for output growth abroad have deteriorated and the disruption to global financial markets has continued.”Still, even with the central bank’s decision, many U.K. citizens were worried some lenders wouldn’t offer the cut to mortgage customers. However, several banks–including Halifax, NatWest, Nationwide, Abbey and the Royal Bank of Scotland–have said they will reduce their standard variable rates. Other banks–including Lloyds TSB, HSBC, First Direct and Barclays’ mortgage arm–said previously that if a cut was offered, they would pass it on to customers. The cuts are expected to come in early March.”Homeowners will be pleased at the prospect of lower mortgage payments, and U.K. manufacturers will look forward to paying less when they want to borrow to invest,” said Adam Lent, head of economic and social affairs at the Trades Union Congress, a U.K. trade union organization that represents more than 6 million workers.