Proponents of private cryptocurrencies argue they are a better store of value than traditional “fiat” currency. But even if a cryptocurrency’s value cannot be inflated away by large supply increases, that doesn’t automatically mean its value is stable in terms of ability to buy goods and services.
Continue reading “Bitesize: The very volatile value of cryptocurrencies”
Since the turn of the year UK retail sales data have been grabbing headlines. Sharp contractions have been attributed to rising prices. That is no doubt part of the argument. But is there more to it?
Continue reading “Bitesize: How trendy are retail sales?”
On 16 February 2017, following the release of the ECB’s January meeting accounts, French government bond (OAT) futures experienced a so-called ‘mini flash’, with yields falling 11bps within 85 seconds, in a period of significant illiquidity, before retracing most of the move within eight minutes.
Continue reading “Bitesize: Blink and you’ve missed it: French government bond ‘mini flash’”
In recent years there has been a notable move to lenders charging a daily or monthly fee on overdrafts. Although not technically an interest rate, they are nonetheless a cost of borrowing. And in some cases, may have replaced interest charges entirely. So are customers charged more than the interest-charging overdraft rate alone suggests?
Continue reading “Bitesize: How do fees affect overdraft pricing?”
Since 2012, long term rates have fallen and there have been various other policy packages to boost credit availability and lower borrowing costs. But how have these fed through to different types of fixed mortgage rates?
Continue reading “Bitesize: How do fixed mortgage rates compare across loan-to-value ratios?”
How have falling retail deposit interest rates affected savers’ behaviour? One place to look is the market for fixed-rate bonds, which give a guaranteed interest rate for a set period of time. These rates tend to be higher than instant access accounts, because customers must tie up their deposits to receive the higher rate. Fixed-rate bonds represented around 40% of new time deposits in January 2017. Continue reading “Bitesize: Which fixed-rate bond term is most popular?”
Evidence suggests that small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) rely more on bank credit than other businesses. So how has their cost of borrowing fared since last year’s Bank Rate cut? And how do their rates compare with overall businesses? Continue reading “Bitesize: How did the Bank Rate change affect business loan rates?”
Despite speculation to the contrary, the number of banknotes in circulation is increasing. During 2016, growth in the value of Bank of England notes was 10%, double its average growth rate over the past decade.
Continue reading “Bitesize: Bank note-able growth”