View more on these topics

Gordon Brown admits mistakes over banks

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has admitted that he made mistakes which contributed to the financial crisis.

In a television interview with ITV’s Tonight, which is to be broadcast at 7.30pm, Brown admits he caved in to pressure from the banks for less regulation in the 1990s when he was Chancellor.

When asked whether he felt he had made any mistakes while in Government, Brown said: “In the 1990s the banks all came to us and said: ’look we don’t want to be regulated, we want to be free of regulation.

“And everybody in the City was saying, and all the complaints I was getting from the people was, ’look, you’re actually regulating them too much’. And actually the truth is that globally and nationally we should have been regulating them more.

“So I’ve learnt from that. So you don’t listen to the industry when they say, ’This is good for us’. You’ve got to talk about the whole public interest.”

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 36 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. …. And this bloke wants our Vote? You must be having a laugh!

    After 13 years of a Labour Government – during which Gordon Brown held a Senior and influential position within Government the proof of the pudding is their track record …. unless you believe in fairies ….

  2. ‘Don’t listen to industry’ that’s a good policy, Gordon Brown created a regulator that wasn’t and isn’t fit for purpose.

  3. … and similarly, he (and the FSA) don’t listen to our industry when we say, ‘this (over-regulation/compliance burden) AIN’T good for us’ … mmmm … whateva …

    And ‘you’ve got to talk about the whole public interest’ … how funny … once all IFAs have eventually been exterminated, and the Banks and Tescos ARE the financial services sector, who d’ya thinks gonna benefits … cos it AIN’T gonna be Joe Public!!
    (for eg. look at the sh*t job ‘Numpty Labour’ have done with pensions … no-one saving and rules you need a doctorate to have to understand!!)

    And he was the Chancellor at the time, spinning a yarn that we had a world class financial services industry and one of the safest/strongest economies in the world … oh, boy

    Should we REALLY believe anything he says now (not that we ever did)??

  4. Incompetent Regulators Award Team 14th April 2010 at 9:47 am

    As one top businessman retorted re the NI fiasco. Brown is financially illiterate. He did lead us into this mess regardless of global problems. Take you share of teh bl;ame which is nearly all your Mr GB. He is a leming just like the rest of his so called cabinet. They took the credit when the going looked good only to be fooled by incompetency. They know nothing, constantly lie and now looking for sympathy for cheap votes. Anyone decent must be mad to vote for this man and his party. Roll on the blunders leading up to May 6th.

  5. Err……… does anyone else see this as an admission of absolute incompetence. All the way up to this moment, I was still floating – but that’s incredible.

  6. All we need now is for Brown to get up and admit all the other mistakes he’s made over the last 13 years so that we can get rid of him and his cronies once and for all

  7. I Don’t believe it !

    And nor should you.

    Yes, the banks may well have been saying we want the rules changed as in the USA.

    But it was the intellectual argument that if an institution failed then the market would come in and sort it out with no need for Government intervention i.e. at no cost that was the favoured theory believed by Mr. Browns’ mentor Mr. Greenspan and others around him that allowed the rule changes to take place (put very basically to keep it short).

  8. It is like saying to a dog that I will let you off your leash providing you promise not to bite anyone….Obviously Gordon’s been bitten with his trousers down. Once again the argument is whether we go for growth at all costs now or whether we build a slow but secure economy and ensure that the Banking fat cats are brought to account for te decisions they make.

  9. It’s taken him 13 years in office to learn this?

    Unbelievable

    The man is a buffoon and the worst thing the electorate could do now is give him another term in office.

  10. please, please, please, get rid of him while we have the chance

  11. Mr Brown-
    – The PM that was never elected.
    – The Chancellor that saw us through one of the strongest growth periods the country has seen, increased tax through fiscal drag AND left us practically bankrupt at the end of it.

    Surely only those dependent on the welfare system and scared of becoming independent will vote for him – or it surely says a lot for the general intelligence of the Country as a whole.

  12. OMG I could have told you that Gordon !!!

    After all it was like listening to a kid (banks) that wants to throw a firework.

    I only hope that who ever wins the election learns from his mistakes and brings in a regulator that is strong and must important of all works

  13. Typical – this is the man that has a major contribution towards the collapse over that last 13 years and now he is trying to blame the industry for asking for less regulation! Where does the buck stop – with him!!!

  14. In other news, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Bleedin’ Obvious has confirmed that the earth is, in fact, round; and leading super-sleuth ‘no sh*t’ Sherlock has uncovered utterly unsurprising evidence that “we’re all boned” if the Tories get in…

  15. The FSA and its prior names have regulated the Insurance Industry to the extreme and yet the potential loss to investors frommsitakes or misselling pail into insignificance when compared top the effect of the Banking crisis. This shows that trhis Government and its regulator are great at picking on the little guy and totally impotent when dealing with the Banks. The FSA 10 principles cover the needed regulation if they had have applied the same rules to the Banks as they did for other areas of Financial Services. I wonder why Mr Brown caved in when he professes to be the one for us to trust with the purse strings.

  16. Perfect – Just the type of person the FSSC are looking for. .

    Tiner/Brown the dream team

  17. Richard Lockhart 14th April 2010 at 10:14 am

    Doesn’t sound much like the “man in charge”.

    Sort of like “I got it wrong – never mind – but give me another go”

    The banks and the city didn’t pressurise him to remove the pension fund tax breaks – so what excuse has he for this gross calumny, the effect of which has now been seen to be disastrous?

    The City didn’t pressurise him into doubling the work force employed by the govt and squandering so smuch that the national debt went up 10 times on his watch – with equally disastrous results to the economy.

    The city didn’t pressurise him to go to war

    Perhaps a bit of genuine humility accross a wide range of Labour ( his) mistakes would be a bit more effective – but as usual he is still blaming others for “forcing” him not to do or not do something

    Great leader – another chance – you have to be kidding

  18. As a rule, I don’t pass along these “add your name” lists that appear in emails,

    BUT this one is important. It has been circulating for months and has been sent to over 20 million people.

    We don’t want to lose any names on the list so just hit forward and send it on.

    Please keep it going!

    To show your support for Gordon Brown please go to the end of the list and add your name.

    1. Mrs Brown.
    2.

  19. So he’s admitting one mistake, how about full disclosure of how he ignored advice on selling our Gold reserves at the bottom of the market, pensions, 10% tax abolition, and to boot has everyone forgotten the promise for a referendum, promises mean nothing to this Government, we have a NHS riddled with statisticians and managers, and frankly the number of stories of how the figures are massaged to make it appear things ahve improved, as the saying goes, lies, damn lies and statistics. Mr Brown boasted of abolishing boom and bust, and that he knew how to judge the economic cycle, time to get on your bike Gordon.

  20. Words fail me!

    How low will they stoop to get the sympathy vote and watch the media accept this!!

    This has sealed his fate with the horrible fact that they may just get in again because the great British ‘thick’ electorate will fall for it. When in he will be removed and Mandelson will take over – unelected and far worse than Brown will ever be. Time to go an live in some dictatorship I think, which has to be better than this.

  21. As yet no one has asked the question! How many MPs have directorships with the Banks? I bet you alot more than we think hence the reason why they were allowed to do exactly what they wanted in the hope the Directors benefit from the growth and income.

  22. Vote for Brown ora guy who is modelling his look on JFK even down to the haircut and purple tie.

    We are dooomed I tell you

  23. That seems to me to be a very shallow admission which he has turned round to make it look as though it was the banking industry’s fault all along. It wasn’t lack of regulation but lack of EFFICIENT regulation. We are and were all over-regulated in the financial services industry and his job was to ensure useful effective regulation which does not cause unnecessary restriction and yet protects us all from the greedy or the unscrupulous. I don’t see him owning up about the huge reduction in pension funds he caused and his inability to fill the coffers when times were good either! What a disaster he is and STILL people want to vote for him! I simply despair.

  24. It seems that those making comments on this story have very short memories.

    It was the tories who deregulated the markets and banking (particularly investment banking). It has been the tories throughout the Labour Government who have been calling for LESS regulation up until 18 months ago when suddenly the tories realised that saying MORE regulation was needed was the best way to win votes.

    Before Gordon Brown set up the FSA the whole industry was in a pitiful mess with self-regulatory bodies being run by criminals.

    I wonder how many of the “professionals” commenting on here were complaining during the good times!?

  25. … and similarly, he (and the FSA) don’t listen to our industry when we say, ‘this (over-regulation/compliance burden) AIN’T good for us’ … mmmm … whateva …

    And ‘you’ve got to talk about the whole public interest’ … how funny … once all IFAs have eventually been exterminated, and the Banks and Tescos ARE the financial services sector, who d’ya thinks gonna benefits … cos it AIN’T gonna be Joe Public!!
    (for eg. look at the sh*t job ‘Numpty Labour’ have done with pensions … no-one saving and rules you need a doctorate to have to understand!!)

    And he was the Chancellor at the time, spinning a yarn that we had a world class financial services industry and one of the safest/strongest economies in the world … oh, boy

    Should we REALLY believe anything he says now (not that we ever did)??

  26. For years the UK Government gorged itself on the taxes paid to them by the Banks and turned a deliberate blind eye to the risks and effectively went into denial.

    Well the wake up call was only a matter of time, and I am pleased that it has come on this Governments watch.

    This Government has shown crass incompetence and put simply, does not deserve to be voted back into power.

  27. Good thing Gordon isn’t authorised and regulated by the FSA as they may have closed him down by now with those sort of TCF failings.

  28. But Hector Sants stated categorically on national TV that the FSA is completely independent of government. It should therefore have rejected any call from Crash Gordon or the Treasury to leave the banks to their own devices. And done the right thing. But since when did the FSA ever do that?

  29. I Don’t believe it !

    And nor should you.

    Yes, the banks may well have been saying we want the rules changed as in the USA.

    But it was the intellectual argument that if an institution failed then the market would come in and sort it out with no need for Government intervention i.e. at no cost that was the favoured theory believed by Mr. Browns’ mentor Mr. Greenspan and others around him that allowed the rule changes to take place (put very basically to keep it short).

  30. This is the man who wants us to thanks him for putting out the fire that he started! It questions the most basic competency!

  31. Julian Stevens
    You are correct but when did anyone in power tell the truth?
    It suits the government,FSA & treasury to have all this smoke & mirrors, that way they can blame each other when things go wrong and hope joe public will be too confused to bother.
    Gordons admission certainly helps to shine a light on the fact that advisers have suffered from over regulation during labours term in office.The fsa had to be seen to at least pretend to protect consumers and in the event that it was told to leave the big boys at the bank alone it had to focus all its attention somewhere.We have suffered at the hands of this conspiracy.So much for an open & transparent regulator!

  32. This is NOT a defence of Brown or the Government, but do all you ranting, bile spitting bloggers really believe that, in the face of a fast changing international financial markets and the inroduction of ever more complex instruments, especially from the US, a Tory Chancellor would have reacted or behaved in a materially different fashion in the last decade or so?

    If you do, please leave now for your home planet.

    Dream on.

  33. The implications for the financial services industry are clear.

    The tsunami of banking regulation promised by Brown must not wash up on the banks of the financial advice sector.

    There is potential for a clarion call of more regulation for all financial bodies and this will be used to justify the imperfections of the RDR, of which there are many.

    As an industry we need to get the message across to MPs that the current economic woe is nothing to do with us and everything to do with global banking and risk-taking.

  34. Gerry – I agree with you it would have been the same decision to change the Banking Rules and bring in the “light touch” regulation we have seen. What we as IFAs are cross about is the denial of Mr Brown that any of this was encouraged and facilitated by him when it was he that was follower and student of Mr Greenspan (along time before Nu Labour came to power in 1997) blaming it instead on nasty foreigners and a global banking crisis. in fact it is not a global banking crisis only a western world banking crisis and even then those banks based in the east Standard Chartered and HSBC have only been marginally affected. this nasty foreigner / greedy Bankers ploy has worked with a lot of the financially uneducated and to a great extent the UK press and media have mostly unquestioningly gone along with enjoying blaming foreigners and rich Bankers.
    So whilst the banks were left to take huge risks mostly with Mrs. Miggins money (Mrs. Miggins saved in the bank exactly because she did not want the risk of market exposure) and created credit to the power of 10 via buying and selling repackaged securitisations whilst retaining triple “A” status (it had to be triple “A” to allow the Americans to trade them) even after diluting the contents after each trade.
    There is more much more but if you want to know read it up yourself. i gota go now.

  35. This is just Brown playing the electorate for all he is worth. Pretty well meaningless really as he will say anything to get re-elected.

    In any case if he is that malleable and that gullible what credibility does that give him as a leader tough enough to get us out of the mess that he helped create in the first place.

    In some ways it is a pity that the credit crunch came along as he has used that to cover his tracks.

    In the years up to 2007, the so called ‘good times’, Government borrowing was out of control, going through the roof, because the rise in current expenditure he drove forward so relentlessly after his first couple of years, was far outpacing receipts from taxation.

    His warped understanding that all EXPENDITURE is in Labour parlance actually ‘investment’ begs the question as to which school of ‘Economics’ or ‘Accounting’ did he graduate at?

  36. at least gordon didnt look like a slimy creatin last night a la forked tounged cameron. Nick clegg is on a win win, these 2 others are buffoons

Leave a comment

Close

Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com