Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, said increasing interest rates would exacerbate already-high debt levels. "The economic consequences of high-level indebtedness now would become more severe if rates were to rise," King told a committee of the European Parliament. "It is the main reason why interest rates are so low." Policymakers at Britain's central bank are split on the direction of monetary policy. Economists expect the Bank of England to maintain its key interest rate when policymakers meet Thursday.

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