Bank of England has 'absolutely open mind' on negative rates: Haskel

FILE PHOTO: A security officer stands outside the Bank of England in London, Britain, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of England policymaker Jonathan Haskel said on Monday that the central bank had an “absolutely open mind” about the possibility of cutting interest rates below zero as part of its support for Britain’s economy during the coronavirus crisis.

Haskel said negative rates might hit margins at banks, potentially deterring them from lending to businesses, but the impact of going below zero might have a positive effect for the economy as a whole.

Earlier on Monday, the BoE asked banks how ready they are for zero or negative interest rates, following up its announcement last month that it was considering how to take rates below zero if necessary.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Writing by William Schomberg