Bank of England's Bean say unwinding of QE could begin when rates rise

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney (R) chats with deputy Governor Charlie Bean as they arrive at the bank's quarterly inflation report news conference at the Bank of England in London November 13, 2013.REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Outgoing Bank of England policymaker Charlie Bean said on Sunday the bank could begin to unwind its quantitative easing programme of bond purchases once interest rates start to rise.

“I think it will be natural either at the time the MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) raises bank rates, or sometime shortly thereafter to say ‘Ok, we won’t reinvest maturing gilts’,” Bean, a deputy governor who leaves the bank at the end of June, told Sky television in an interview.

The BoE purchased 375 billion pounds ($631 billion) of British government bonds between 2009 and 2012 and has reinvested cash from the maturing gilts in its stock to maintain it at that level.

Reporting by William James; editing by John Stonestreet