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June 28, 2017

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BOE policymakers split over pumping more cash into UK

LONDON -- Bank of England (BOE) policymakers were split earlier this month over pumping more cash into the recession-hit British economy, minutes from their latest meeting showed on Wednesday.

Minutes from the central bank's policy gathering on Oct. 3-4 revealed that all nine policymakers voted to keep the key lending rate at 0.5 percent, where it has stood since March 2009.

The bank's nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also were also united in maintaining the size of the bank's asset purchasing programme, or quantitative easing (QE) stimulus, at 375 pounds billion (US$597 billion).

However, there were "differences" of opinion over the central bank's future monetary policy stance.

"There were some differences of view between members about the outlook and the likelihood that further easing in policy would be required," the minutes read.

"But there was agreement that there was little to be gained at this meeting in changing the current program of asset purchases.

"The committee would have the opportunity to gauge the impact of past and prospective policy actions at home and abroad over the next month."

The BOE's most recent QE cash injection of 50 pounds billion, announced in July, is due to be completed in November.

Vicky Redwood, chief U.K. economist at Capital Economics research group, said it was a "close call" whether the majority of MPC members would vote for more stimulus cash next month.

"Although the vote to leave policy unchanged this month was unanimous, there were 'differences of view' regarding the need for more QE further ahead," she said.

"Some thought there was still considerable scope for QE to provide further stimulus, whilst others were less convinced and emphasized the limits to what monetary policy could achieve."

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