Sunak backs BoE QE expansion, says he is supporting jobs

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves Downing Street, in London, Britain October 14, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Thursday that he approved the Bank of England’s 150 billion pound expansion of its asset purchase programme to buy more government debt, and reiterated that he was taking steps to support jobs.

“Our policy support is adapting to the course of the virus and the needs of the economy, through the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and business loan schemes,” Sunak said.

Britain’s finance ministry routinely indemnifies the BoE against any losses the BoE may incur from buying British government debt, and must confirm this when the BoE expands its asset purchase programme, as it did earlier on Thursday.

Sunak is due to address parliament on economic support measures to combat COVID later on Thursday.

Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Kate Holton