Repayments on the loans began in 1950, since when Britain has paid 50 instalments worth $7.5bn to the US and $2bn to Canada at a 2% rate of interest. The economic secretary, Ed Balls, said: "This week we finally honour in full our commitments to the US and Canada for the support they gave us 60 years ago. It was vital support which helped Britain defeat Nazi Germany and secure peace and prosperity in the post-war period. We honour our commitments to them now as they honoured their commitments to us all those years ago."
Successive British governments have never in the duration of the loans lobbied to have them reduced or cancelled, and have always insisted it is right to meet the commitments it made in return for the financial support given by the US and Canada before and after the war.