Friday 21 July 2017

Brown admits his errors added to the crisis

Robert Winnett in London

Gordon Brown will admit for the first time today that he made mistakes that contributed to the financial crisis.

In a television interview, the Prime Minister concedes that he bowed to pressure from the City not to regulate British banks properly.

The ensuing crisis has cost taxpayers tens of billions of pounds. RBS and Lloyds Banking Group came close to collapse and Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley had to be nationalised.

The prime minister has previously steadfastly blamed the crisis on the failure of American regulators and international watchdogs.

Mr Brown is asked on ITV's 'Tonight: Spotlight on the Leaders', to be screened at 7.30pm, what "mistakes" he has made in office.

He replied: "In the 1990s, the banks all came to us and said: 'Look, we don't want to be regulated, we want to be free of regulation'.

Complaints

"And everybody in the City was saying you know and all the complaints I was getting from people was, 'Look you're regulating them too much'.

"And actually the truth is that globally and nationally we should have been regulating them more. So I've learnt from that. You don't listen to the industry when they say: 'This is good for us'.

"You've got to talk about the whole public interest. And so we are tougher on the banks and tougher on the way they behave and we can be relied on to make sure the banks act in the national interest so you'll see more measures to do that."

George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, said: "So, finally Gordon Brown admits he failed to regulate bankers and increased taxes on the poor. His next huge mistake would be his jobs tax that will kill the recovery. We've had 13 years of his economic mistakes. Britain can't afford five years more."(©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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