Brown lays down his agenda for lenders in News of the World

Gordon Brown used the News of the World as a populist platform to lay down the government’s pre- conditions for further help to mortgage lenders but gave his approach an international dimension

The prime minister wrote: “If the world’s largest banks could come together quickly and agree as a group to come clean about the potential bad debts they face, we could reduce the uncertainty and risk they face and restore confidence back into the markets.”

However, in return for helping to freeing up the market he made it clear that he is expecting lenders to follow down cuts in base rates. Pledging help for homebuyers Brown declared: “Although the Bank of England has cut rates in recent months, the banks have not always been passing those reductions to their customers. So Alistair Darling will be meeting with the main mortgage lenders to discuss what further steps can be taken.”