LONDON Oct 19 British finance minister Philip
Hammond said the government did not plan to change the
independence of the Bank of England to set monetary policy after
the prime minister criticised the side-effects of low interest
rates earlier this month.
"There will be no change in monetary policy," Hammond told
lawmakers on Wednesday.
"Monetary policy is independently determined, that will
continue to be the case. The Monetary Policy Committee will
continue to make decisions on interest rates and recommendations
on unconventional monetary policy."
Prime Minister Theresa May took the unusual step of
criticising BoE policy on Oct. 5 when she said near-zero rates
and the BoE's huge bond-buying programme had hurt savers. Aides
to May said at the time that the comments were not intended to
influence BoE policy.
(Reporting by David Milliken, Andy Bruce and Helen Reid;
writing by William Schomberg; editing by Stephen Addison)