British chancellor vows to reform bank system

In Hungary

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling vowed on Sunday to draw lessons from the recent bank crisis and reform the country’s bank system.

“There are lessons to be learnt - and I will make the changes we need to ensure stability,” Darling said at the annual conference of the ruling Labor Party held in the southern coastal city of Bournemouth, in the wake of the Northern Rock bank crisis. Thousands of savers queued at the Newcastle-based commercial bank last week to get their money out after words spread that it needed emergency funds from the Bank of England, the country’s central bank. “My job is to protect ordinary savers. So we need to strengthen protection for ordinary savers - to give them confidence, ensuring their savings in a bank or building society are guaranteed,” he added in his first conference speech since succeeding Gordon Brown as chancellor.

Acknowledging the difficulty ahead, the chancellor was confident that “we will come through this because we have built a strong and stable economy. We need effective regulation in international markets too far greater openness and to prevent risky investments being hidden off the balance sheet,” Darling noted. The chancellor had suggested that he would change the banking system to offer increased guarantee for people’s savings of up to £100,000 ($200,000) in the case of a crisis. The five-day party conference, which started on Sunday afternoon, is the first since Gordon Brown became the leader. There are speculations that given the current high level of voter support, Brown is likely to call an early general election. (people.com.cn)

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