Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 13:28 UK

Guarantee bank deposits - Clegg

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg says people need more reassurance about their savings

Bank customers must be given a "copper-bottomed" guarantee that all their savings and deposits are safe, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has said.

He urged the government to follow the lead of its Irish counterpart and to guarantee all customers' money in High Street banks, no matter what amount.

Under current rules, only the first 35,000 of an individual's money is fully protected should a bank collapse.

Mr Clegg said all parties must work together to tackle the current crisis.

'Absolute priority'

The Lib Dem leader said it was no time for parties to "split hairs" over policy differences when urgent action was needed to boost confidence in the banking system.

He said his party would support new laws to increase protection for bank customers when they come before Parliament next week but said a "blanket guarantee" for all deposits was now required.

"The absolute priority is to give people a copper-bottomed guarantee and assurance that their savings and deposits are safe," he said.

Labour minister Yvette Copper said the government had provided substantial protection for depositors and continued to take the issue "extremely seriously".




SEE ALSO
Irish government guarantees banks
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