The British pound gained significant ground vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9805 level and was supported around the $1.9600 figure. Sterling gained ground on news that Bank of England may be finalizing an arrangement to purchase problem mortgage loans that remain on banks balance sheets. The central bank plan could involve swapping U.K. mortgage-backed securities for government bonds for one-to-three years. It was reported that U.K. March unemployment fell for the eighteenth consecutive month in March, down 1,200 to 2.5%. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9605/ 1.9505 levels. The euro gained ground vis--vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8090 level and was supported around the ₤0.8025 level.