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And that goes for the Bank of England, too.
The virus and the measures taken to stop it spreading are dramatically reducing activity in the economy.
So what is the Bank of England doing to help?
The Bank’s job now, as always, is to provide monetary and financial stability.
We do that in a number of ways, such as ensuring your money maintains its value by keeping inflation low and stable.
We also support the economy to help keep as many people in work as possible.
Given the challenges facing us all, the Bank has launched an unprecedented package of measures to support the UK economy.
These measures will help as far as possible to keep companies running and hard-working people in their jobs.
In this way, the Bank can help prevent coronavirus from causing long-lasting economic harm to Britain.
Firstly, we have cut our interest rate to a historic low of 0.1 per cent.
Lower interest rates mean cheaper loans for businesses and households.
Secondly, we are injecting a further £200billion into the economy to help cut long-term borrowing costs.
Thirdly, we are supporting businesses’ access to cash.
We are working closely with the Treasury to support large businesses and their workers by offering them loans for up to 12 months.
We have already committed £14billion to help firms pay wages and their suppliers.
Fourthly, we are helping banks to continue lending to UK households and firms.
We require banks and building societies to hold financial buffers, known as capital, so they can withstand any losses on loans they make.
But we are temporarily allowing lenders to hold less capital.
This will support up to £190billion of bank lending to businesses.
To put that into perspective, it is more than 13 times the amount they lent to businesses in the whole of 2019.
Throughout this period, my colleagues have continued to run the core payment system that allows you to use your credit and debit cards.
We process payments equivalent to UK GDP, or £2.2trillion, every three days.
And we are keeping our eyes open for any risks that might emerge to the economy or the financial system as this pandemic unfolds.
No one can be sure exactly how the coronavirus pandemic will unfold and that goes for us, too.
But one thing you can be sure of is that my colleagues and I at the Bank of England will do all we can to support everyone through this difficult time.
We’ve got your back.
That’s our duty.
We have already delivered a huge package of measures.
And we stand ready to do whatever we can to meet your needs and get through this together.
- Andrew Bailey is the new Bank of England Governor
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