Chancellor Alistair Darling has attacked banks for lending too freely and allowing consumer debt to spiral to record levels. The Daily Telegraph

He signalled the end of the era of easy money, calling on international banks to think about returning to ‘good old-fashioned banking’.

‘The [borrowers] need to ask themselves, ‘can I repay this?’ and lenders need to ask themselves, ‘If it goes wrong can I get it back?’ he said.

‘People do need to think long and hard about this. One of the by-products of the current situation is that, not just at a high level but right across the piece, people will be a bit more cautious.

‘Institutions themselves need to open their own eyes and be more honest. When someone comes up with a fantastic way of making money they need to ask, how is this money being made and what are the risks?’