Belfast Telegraph

Brown's 'big mistake' on financial regulation

By Staff Reporter

Gordon Brown has admitted he made a "big mistake" on financial regulation before the banking crisis that plunged Britain into recession.

The former prime minister said the regulatory framework he put in place as chancellor failed to address the "entanglements" of different institutions and "how global things were".

Speaking at a conference in the US, Mr Brown said he accepted his responsibility for the mistakes, but added that he was not alone in making them.

His comments will be seized on by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats as the coalition Government prepares to shake up the banking system and remodel financial regulation.

Mr Brown said that in the 1990s and the years up to 2007, when he was chancellor, he was under "relentless pressure" from the City not to over-regulate.

"We know in retrospect what we missed. We set up the Financial Services Authority believing that the problem would come from the failure of an individual institution," he said.

He went on: "So we created a monitoring system which was looking at individual institutions. That was the big mistake.

"We didn't understand how risk was spread across the system or how different institutions were entangled with each other."