â¿¿ EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANKInterest rates: Has kept its benchmark rate at 0.75 percent, a record low. Bond buying: Unveiled in September a plan to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds to help lower borrowing costs for countries struggling to manage their debts. Earlier, the ECB gave banks more than euro 1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) in low-interest loans lasting up to three years. The loans provide secure financing at a time when some banks can't borrow normally. â¿¿ BANK OF ENGLAND Interest rate: Has kept its benchmark rate at a record low of 0.5 percent since 2009. Bond buying: Announced last summer a plan to buy more government bonds from financial institutions. The goal is for the banks to use the extra cash to lend to businesses and households.