The storm clouds are hanging over London’s financial markets. In the gloom, the question remains: is the British government injecting enough money and credit to protect the economy from the turbulence? The Prime Minister Gordon Brown hinted at coordinated international action.
He said: “Not only will we do this in Britain – 250 billion guaranteed – but I talked to my European colleagues over the last few days and I have hopes this can become a wider scheme that other countries will take up, and I hope that we will show that we have led the world in changing the terms and conditions in which we can help renew the flow of money in the system.”
Other speakers in parliament said the banks must now put their clients’ interests first. Brown agreed that voters must be protected. He said: “We will do everything in our power to maintain our public services and increase jobs in our economy, to protect the savings and deposits of the citizens of this country.”
Seven major British banks say they will take advantage of the government’s emergency fund. They include Barclays, Lloyds TSB, HBOS and the Royal Bank of Scotland. One leading exception is HSBC, which has declined the offer, and says it will follow its own path.