以下為有關減息的詳細報導，轉載自2020年3月11日 Financial Times
Combined with a Budget on Wednesday that will radically increase public borrowing, the move signals the intent of the BoE and the UK government to fight the economic effects of the disease outbreak "in concert" with "timely and powerful" measures to have "maximum impact", said Mark Carney, the outgoing bank governor.
The Monetary Policy Committee unanimously agreed to reduce the main bank rate by half a percentage point to 0.25 per cent at a special meeting ending on Tuesday, leaving almost no room to cut rates further.
The BoE said that potentially more important than the rate cut was its decision to offer banks four years of funding at the new rate plus a fee so that they could continue to lend during the coronavirus crisis and "bridge a potentially challenging period". It will be tied to the volume of new loans to small and medium-sized businesses.
Banks will also see their requirements to hold capital buffers loosened to allow them to take temporary losses without curtailing lending.
The decision to let banks draw on the so-called countercyclical buffer would allow them to lend an additional £200bn in corporate credit, "exactly the kind of drawdowns that would be required in this kind of situation", said Mr Carney.
Asked whether the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak could prove as damaging as the 2008 global financial crisis, Mr Carney said: "There is no reason for this shock to turn into the equivalent of 2008 . . . if we handle it well."
In addition, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the arm of the BoE that supervises lenders and insurers in the UK, set out its expectation that banks should not increase dividends or bonuses in response to the central bank's policy actions.
"The reduction in the bank rate will help to support business and consumer confidence at a difficult time, to bolster the cash flows of businesses and households, and to reduce the cost, and to improve the availability, of finance," the bank said.
The UK central bank follows the US Federal Reserve in taking unscheduled action to combat the expected economic disruption from the virus.
Andrew Bailey, the new governor of the BoE from next week, was present at all the bank's meetings and engaged in a joint news conference with Mr Carney on Friday morning.
The BoE estimated it had roughly 2.5 percentage points of firepower to stimulate the economy before it ran out of ammunition. Mr Bailey said the BoE had used "roughly half" of that in the package announced on Wednesday.
Mr Carney said the measures were designed to "keep firms in business and people in jobs" over a period that Mr Bailey said would cause "temporary" disruption. The incoming governor said that banks had sufficient funds and buffers to be able to lend through the crisis.Mr Carney added that the situation was resulting in "disruption not destruction of supply, and it's part of our job to ensure that is the case", adding that the BoE was seeing "anecdotal evidence where we have seen a sharp fall in trading conditions particularly in retail". The financial system was now in a position where it could lend to the worst-affected businesses, or indeed all businesses, 13 times what it had lent last year in good times, said Mr Carney.
Downing Street said Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the monetary and fiscal measures "will make the UK one of the best-placed economies in the world to manage the potential impact of the virus".Speaking ahead of his Budget statement at 12.30pm, Mr Sunak said his first financial statement would "ensure businesses, the public and those in public services working on the front line against the virus get the support they need".
The Budget is expected to include financial help for companies struggling with cash flow problems, individuals facing financial loss because of the need to self-isolate, and public services including the NHS. Mr Sunak is also expected to unleash the largest rise in public borrowing in 30 years, signalling a decisive end to austerity as he pours money into long-term investments.
Rob James, a fund manager at Merian Global Investors, said the term funding scheme was "very good news" for banks that already draw heavily on the BoE's existing term funding scheme such as OneSavings Bank, Virgin Money and other challenger banks.
However, Mr James warned that the scheme would "extend the pain" for large incumbent banks who had been expected to benefit when their smaller rivals were forced to refinance the funding they drew from the BoE's existing scheme at higher rates.
Ian Gordon, a banks analyst at Investec, said the term funding scheme would offer "some partial relief for high street banks against the adverse impact of the rate cut" on their net interest margins.
Rain Newton Smith, chief economist at the CBI business lobby, described the BoE move as a "timely, proportionate response to a serious situation, though it's vital policy is kept under review as things improve". "Measures to help the flow of credit and support businesses potentially facing cash flow issues could make a real difference in the weeks ahead," she said.
"The opportunity to substitute relatively expensive retail deposits with fresh four-year term funding at a cost of just 0.25 per cent constitutes manna from heaven."
The pound edged lower after the BoE decision, trading around 0.1 per cent down at $1.2892 after having trimmed earlier losses of as much as 0.5 per cent. UK shares gained strongly on the decision, with the FTSE 100 index up 1.4 per cent in early trading.
Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "The BoE probably hopes this is a ‘shock and awe' package of measures and that they won't have to ease again, though the future course of the virus is unknowable."
The BoE said it had seen a "marked deterioration" in risk appetite and in the outlook for UK growth, and said indicators of financial market uncertainty had reached "extreme levels".
It said that while the "magnitude of the economic shock" was still highly uncertain, "activity is likely to weaken materially in the United Kingdom over the coming months". "Temporary, but significant, disruptions to supply chains and weaker activity could challenge cash flows and increase demand for short-term credit from households and for working capital from companies," it said.
"Such issues are likely to be most acute for smaller businesses. This economic shock will affect both demand and supply in the economy."
The chancellor's proposed increases in day-to-day public spending and infrastructure projects over the next five years will mostly be funded by borrowing — jeopardising the government's ability to meet fiscal rules it set only four months ago.
After the rate cut, UK sovereign debt with shorter maturities climbed in price while gilts at the longer end of the spectrum came under modest pressure. The benchmark two-year yield, which is considered to be sensitive to fluctuations in monetary policy, was down 0.045 percentage points at 0.10 per cent. The decline in yield points to an increase in the price of the debt. The 10-year gilt yield rose 0.03 percentage points to 0.274 per cent.
Debt set to mature further in the future is typically considered to be more sensitive to medium-term expectations for the economy, with lower yields pointing to more modest inflation and growth, and the opposite for higher yields. Sovereign debt has rallied sharply in particularly volatile action over the past few weeks as investors have dashed into the shelter of perceived havens such as gilts, US Treasuries and German Bunds amid deepening concerns over the coronavirus outbreak and the crash in oil prices.