Treasury to hold talks over global action plan

The chancellor will meet international finance ministers this weekend in a bid to launch a global action plan to help the credit markets.

Alistair Darling is due to hold talks in Washington with finance ministers from the G7 countries to thrash out a concrete international plan.

Ministers will examine a report on the financial markets by the Financial Stability Forum during the talks.

Options up for discussion will also include forcing banks to reveal the full scale of sub-prime loan exposure and the Treasury buying up mortgage-backed assets.

It is understood that the mortage-backed asset plan, which would involve co-ordinated action with the US authorities, would be kick-started if credit conditions continue to worsen at a more rapid rate.

Treasury officials are considering the practicalities of taking large tranches of mortgage-backed assets onto the Bank of England’s balance sheet, until the market for them returns.

A Treasury spokesman says: “The G7 discussions in Washington will discuss a range of measures to improve the regulation and transparency of financial markets, building on the work of the FSF, and we are keen to see that work taken forward into concrete action.”