Brown admits mistakes on banking regulation

  • @tompeck

Gordon Brown has admitted for the first time that he made mistakes that contributed to the financial crisis.

In a television interview to be shown tonight,the Prime Minister concedes that he bowed to pressure from the City and failed to regulate the banks properly. Mr 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'.

"Everybody in the City was saying and all the complaints I was getting were: 'Look you're regulating them too much'. 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'."

The Prime Minister has until now been reluctant to apologise, instead blaming the crisis on the failure of American regulators and international watchdogs. Only last week, Mr Brown said "the international banks let us down". Last year, he said he was not "sure" Britain's regulatory system could have picked up the problem.

The Prime Minister also says his "biggest mistake politically" was the scrapping of the 10p tax band, an error which he has admitted and apologies for several times. "When I was Chancellor we should have done more on the taxation system," he says. "We got this 10p tax wrong and I've learnt a lot from that. I learn all the time."

In the interview Mr Brown also admits that he "worries" about the war in Afghanistan and he is "willing to learn".