The dangers of plunging into negative interest

Third, it is likely there would be an even greater acceleration of the closure of bank branches and cash machines to cut their costs further. There are important parts of the community for whom branches and access to cash are still important.

They would increasingly lose these services. However much some central bankers, economists and academics are fascinated by the ‘experiment’ of negative rates, I very much fear that, in the real world, the experience would be another dose of unpleasant medicine.

The danger is that, in the current very tough circumstances, there is a siren call for something – anything – to be done. There must be a new announcement.

At the Treasury, and for Rishi Sunak, I would be wary of giving people more to feel bad about. At the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, please be brave enough not to do it. 

Mark Bogard is chief executive of the Family Building Society