Building societies have demanded urgent action by the Government to restore a 'level playing field' in the savings market after Ireland guaranteed the deposits of six national lenders.

Gordon Brown was last night reported to have contacted Irish prime minister Brian Cowen to raise his concerns after savers started transferring billions of pounds to banks with full guarantees. Mr Brown is thought to be keen to avoid a public row but has come under pressure from financial sector chiefs to act amid suggestions that Irish banks have already begun marketing their new status to potential clients in the UK.

Daily Telegraph