Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 12:34 UK

Brown wants 'global' bank support

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown wants other countries to follow the UK's lead

Gordon Brown has called on other governments to follow Britain's lead by supporting their struggling banks.

He told the BBC he was trying to "persuade" other world leaders to restructure the global financial system but warned that it "would take time".

Stock markets continue to fall sharply amid concerns about vulnerable banks.

Mr Brown's remarks came as the UK chancellor, Alistair Darling, is in Washington to meet finance ministers from the G7 group of richest nations.

The UK's FTSE 100 index fell 10% on opening, extending Thursday's losses, reflecting deep concerns about the fragility of the banking system and the prospect of a global recession.

The falls come despite Wednesday's historic bail-out package for ailing banks, totalling 500bn.

Mr Brown did not comment on the steep market fall but said he had taken the "right decisions" to stabilise the banking system.

"I am trying to persuade leaders to do exactly the same as we've done so we can get the whole system moving again," he said.

Earlier, in an article for the Times, he said the crisis needed a "global solution" and urged world leaders to meet and plan a restructuring of financial markets.

'Global solution'

Because this is a global problem, it requires a global solution
Gordon Brown

Mr Brown said that the banking system was fundamental to "everything we do".

He said: "Because this is a global problem, it requires a global solution.

"Indeed this now moves to a global stage with a range of international meetings starting this week with the G7 and the International Monetary Fund and, we propose, culminating in a leaders meeting in which we must lay down the principles and the new policies for restructuring our banking and financial system all around the globe."

Mr Brown said that it is "only through the boldest of co-ordinated actions across the globe" that families and businesses could be "adequately supported".

However, other European countries are thought to be sceptical about offering the same level of support to banks as in the UK with France understood not to want to guarantee billions of new bank debt.

Recession warning

On Thursday, Work and Pensions minister Tony McNulty became the first member of the government to publicly say Britain was facing recession.

"We're slowly getting to a stage where the slowdown may well turn technically into recession and then we'll be talking about the nature and depth of the recession," he told BBC2's Daily Politics.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said the bail-out had "probably bought us a recession rather than a depression" but he called for another round of co-ordinated worldwide interest cuts and action by the IMF to help Iceland, which has seen its banks collapse.

A team of Treasury officials is visiting Iceland on Friday in an effort to defuse a diplomatic row between Britain and Iceland over protection for investors and clarify how individual savers and public bodies such as local authorities can retrieve their money.

Mr Darling's Washington meeting comes after the Dow Jones in New York slumped to its lowest level in five years, closing below the 9000 points barrier.

In a further development, the value of City bonuses in the UK is expected to fall this year by 58%, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

But it still forecasts that bonuses of about 3.5bn will be paid out.


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