The Bank of England has widened its buying programme to include index-linked gilts in an effort to counter what it warned was “dysfunction” in the market, a day after a sell-off in UK government bonds pushed up the country’s long-term borrowing costs.
In a statement on Tuesday, the BoE said the additional move would “act as a further backstop to restore orderly market conditions by temporarily absorbing selling of index-linked gilts in excess of market intermediation capacity”.
“The beginning of this week has seen a further significant repricing of UK government debt, particularly index-linked gilts. Dysfunction in this market, and the prospect of self-reinforcing ‘fire sale’ dynamics, pose a material risk to UK financial stability,” the Bank said.
The BoE’s latest move follows Monday’s launch of a new short-term funding facility to avoid a “cliff edge” when the central bank’s £65bn emergency bond-buying programme ends this week.
The Bank also said it was prepared to step up the pace of purchases before its bond-buying programme expires to £10bn per day, but bought just £853mn on Monday.
The emergency bond-buying programme was put in place after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s “mini” Budget on September 23 sparked a sell-off in UK government bonds.