Economic Affairs and Work and Pensions

Part of Speaker's Statement – in the House of Commons at 3:38 pm on 8th June 2010.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:38 pm, 8th June 2010

No, I do not think that was the main problem. The system of regulation that we introduced in 1998 brought together about eight or nine different regulators-self-regulators, as the Conservative party used to be very keen on self-regulation. The problem in relation to the Financial Services Authority, the American regulators and most other regulators was that they simply did not understand the systemic risks that arose in the previous decade or the consequences of the failure of one bank for another. The system in this country was not the problem, but there was undoubtedly a failure on the part of regulators right across the world, including in our country. The FSA's inquiry into what went wrong in Northern Rock demonstrated that the FSA had spotted problems in Northern Rock in February 2007 but had not taken action. I shall say this in the nicest possible way to the hon. Gentleman: he might want to have a word with one or two of the people who were running Northern Rock-members of his party-who might have had a better look at what they were supposed to have been doing when they were running that bank.