Interest rates explained - interactive video

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The Bank of England has held UK interest rates at 0.5% for the 71st month in a row.

The meeting of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in January saw all members of the Committee vote to hold interest rates at their current level.

So how do they come to their decision, and what is the effect?

In this interactive video, the BBC's personal finance reporter Kevin Peachey explains what interest rates are all about.

Interest rates are held at 0.5% by the Bank of England.

Remember that's a record low. Rates have been at this level since March 2009.

Time for your economic history lesson with this graph of rates over the years. Top marks if you know what the Bank rate was in 1694.

The Bank of England - a grand structure in the City of London.

In here, the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee meets every month. Its main task is to keep the rate of inflation - which shows the rising cost of living - at a target of 2%.

So who are the seven men and two women making this choice? You can find out here.

You may not have heard of many of them but they have a key decision to make.

Their main tool to control inflation is interest rates.

How this works is explained in this video.

Stick with it and look out for the clever camera work as Declan appears from behind the Bank's pillars.

What does this all mean for you?

Well, savers will tell you that low rates have meant they have been getting a poor return on their money.

It has been better news for borrowers, though. Low rates have meant mortgage costs have been relatively low for some time.

Let us know what you think of this new format.

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