The Bank of England today held interest rates steady at 5% as it decided that risks were too great to allow it to cut borrowing costs.

Mortgage holders would not have particularly benefited anyway from the change, as most banks are not passing on the cuts because of the credit crunch.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors said it was disappointed with the decision, however. Simon Rubinsohn RICS chief economist said: ‘The RICS is disappointed that the MPC chose to leave the base rate on hold today. While the RICS appreciates the risks associated with the recent pick up in inflation the tone of recent data and surveys suggest that the threat of a sharp slowdown in economic activity is the more pressing issue for the authorities,’ he said.

‘The RICS believes that the Bank needs to take further pre-emptive action over the coming months starting with the June meeting in an effort to decisively counter the impact of the credit crunch. The RICS believes that the Bank should cut the base rate to 4.5% in June if there is no improvement in the data over the next month.’