House prices will fall a further 15% next year, the head of the high street bank Barclays claims today.

In a remarkably candid interview, John Varley, the group chief executive of Barclays, says Britain is only midway through the house price slump.

He describes as “madness” the previous lending policies of banks, in which 100 per cent mortgages and more were approved.

Varley admits that banks were partly to blame for the current recession, saying it is time that they showed humility and said sorry to customers for their role in the economic downturn. He says banks needed to take their share of responsibility.

It is the first time that the chief executive of a major bank has spoken so openly in the current climate about the role lenders have played in the turnaround in home owners’ fortunes.

Daily Telegraph