The UK banking bailout has cost £850bn so far, according to the National Audit Office.
It says the Treasury was justified in propping up the banks to protect the wider financial system. The final cost to the tax- payer will not be known for years.
The NAO also revealed the cost of financial advice to the Treasury from September 2007 will have reached £107m by April next year.
NAO head Amyas Morse says it is difficult to imagine the scale of the consequences for the economy and society if the banks been allowed to collapse. He says: “As the crisis begins to subside, lessons must start to be learned. The authorities need to put formal arrangements in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the support provided to banks in order to inform future policymakers.”
Informed Choice chief executive Nick Bamford says: “The Government could not have let the banks go to the wall as they did not know what the consequences might be.”