Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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Area Final winners and through to the National Final: Cariosa O’Harte, Maggie McBride, Cormac McCarry and Kate McLaughlin - View Full Size Image
Area Final winners and through to the National Final: Cariosa O’Harte, Maggie McBride, Cormac McCarry and Kate McLaughlin

A team from Loreto College Coleraine has taken first place in the Area Final of the annual Bank of England Interest Rate Target 2.0 competition, held in Manchester on 23rd February 2016.

Team members Cariosa O’Harte, Maggie McBride, Kate McLaughlin and Cormac McCarry (all Year 13 students) swept aside competitive opposition from six other schools drawn from throughout the North of England as well as from Scotland in this round of the competition, to bring home the top prize, an impressive trophy, as well as the honour of representing the area in the UK Finals of the competition, to be held at the Bank of England, London, on 22nd March.

The 2016 team have worked hard to secure their success in the competition so far, winning the Northern Ireland heat in November and engaging in high-level discussions at the Bank of Ireland in Belfast in preparation for the Area Final.  From an initial field of 271 teams, 42 qualified for the area finals; in the UK final, the Loreto team will join the other five area winners to compete for the Challenge trophy and a £5,000 prize. 

At the Area Final, the team took on the role of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and made a presentation to a panel of Bank of England judges. In the course of the presentation, the team had to assess economic conditions and the outlook for inflation, and decide what level of interest rate they would set to meet the Government’s inflation target of 2.0%.  The Loreto team recommended an interest rate of 0.5% compared with the Bank of England’s official rate of 0.5% set by the Monetary Policy Committee on 4 February 2016. They also recommended a total of £375bn of asset purchases under the Asset Purchase Facility, compared with the £375bn agreed by the MPC on 4 February 2016. Following a detailed presentation, the team then faced close and complex questions from the panel.

The students and their teacher, Loreto Vice Principal Miss Belinda Toner, were congratulated on this tremendous success and wished well for the UK Final by Mr Michael James, College Principal, on behalf of all the staff and students of Loreto College.