Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Brown welcomes bank rate action

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown said lenders had taken the right action

Gordon Brown has welcomed the move by more lenders to pass on the full cut in interest rates announced by the Bank of England on Thursday to their customers.

Mr Brown said he was "pleased" more homeowners would see the benefit of the fall in rates from 4.5% to 3% as Halifax and Nationwide cut their rates.

He denied he had applied pressure on lenders to take the step saying they had chosen such a course themselves.

Mr Brown is in Brussels as the EU seeks a common position on economic reform.

'Global support'

The PM said a common strategy was "emerging" among European nations on the need for root-and-branch reform of the world's financial system which could command "global support".

EU leaders are trying to formulate a common stance ahead of a meeting of world leaders on the economic crisis in the US next week.

Mr Brown said the decisions taken in the next few weeks would "reshape our world for a decade and more".

He reiterated his call for the need for a global system of financial regulation, an "early warning system" to prevent future banking crises and reform of international institutions like the IMF.

He said he was "confident" that US President Elect Barack Obama would "extend co-operation" in key areas when his administration came into office in January.

Mr Brown said he had discussed a wide range of foreign policy issues, including Iraq and Afghanistan, with Mr Obama during their phone conversation on Thursday.

Asked about further domestic action to boost the economy, Mr Brown said there was a growing consensus in developed economies that both fiscal and monetary responses were needed to the downturn.

He welcomed the Bank of England's "decisive" action over interest rates but denied detailed tax cutting proposals were in the pipeline.

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