Bank of England (4) Image: George Rex

The Bank of England has kept interest rates at the record low of 0.5% for another month.

All nine members of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted in favour of keeping rates on hold, where they have been for seven years.

Having previously warned against the risks of leaving the European Union - which it says could spark another credit crunch - the Bank also warned that the prospect of the referendum, regardless of the result, is likely to result in "some softening" of economic growth in the UK.

The Bank said that the value of the sterling had already been affected by the referendum, ahead of the 23 June vote.

In a statement, it said: "There are some signs that uncertainty relating to the EU referendum has begun to weigh on certain areas of activity, as some decisions, including on capital expenditure and commercial property transactions, are being postponed pending the outcome of the vote."

"This might lead to some softening in growth during the first half of 2016," it added.

Economics blogger Michael Baxter said: "With UK inflation so modest, there is no pressure on the Bank of England to increase interest rates. But it is worth looking at what is happening in the US - where core inflation is creeping up - to get a feel for what might happen later in the year or next year. The UK economy often follows the US and that means inflation may re-emerge as a problem in the near future, at which point the Bank of England may feel it has no choice but to increase rates."