Investments  

Q&A: Andrew Sentance

The Bank of England should have started to move the rates up before now. I still think they are going to start the process later this year and one thing that they may encourage them in that direction is that the US rates may move up later this year.

The structure of financial regulation has changed quite a bit with the Bank of England taking more responsibility. The jury is out on how these things are going to work.

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I started working as a shop assistant at Boots when I was in the sixth form at school. My first full-time job was a petrol station manager which also is a very interesting job.

When I finished university in the early 1980s, we had all sorts of problems with industrial relations. The biggest change I have seen is that the UK economy has got itself back on its feet in various ways.

What I enjoy most or what I am good is communicating economics to the business world. That’s what I have been doing throughout my career.

If things go wrong, don’t get too despondent. Try and work out what you need to do and how you need to change your actions or plans in order to cope with the new situation.

When I was a teenager I used to listen to the radio quite a lot and I fancied being on the radio. I achieved that because I get on the radio and TV quite often.

I am a member of couple of rock bands and I play the guitar and the bass guitar. I enjoy listening to music. I also play the church organ so I have got range of different musical interest.

My most expensive commitment are my children. I am not a great consumer of expensive material goods. I believe in investing in your family and in your children.

The London housing market has become quite frothy. As wages go up, the housing market becomes more affordable. The big challenge for people trying to get on to the housing ladder is affordability - the high level of house prices relative to their incomes and that is being made more challenging since the financial crisis because the lenders are not looking to lend such high ratios in relation to the value of housing.

I think the groups who have found it most difficult over the last few years are savers because some of the things that they expected that you would get a rate of return at least covered inflation is a bit more. They have really struggled to achieve that. Okay inflation is very low now, so you can get an interest rate slightly above inflation but it’s been a very low interest rate environment and there are limited options for small savers to go into other forms of investment without risks they may not want to take.