Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, yesterday urged more aggressive action to stem home foreclosures.

'Despite good-faith efforts by both the private and public sectors, the foreclosure rate remains too high, with adverse consequences for both those directly involved and for the broader economy,' he said. '“More needs to be done.'

Bernanke told a Fed conference on housing and mortgage markets: “Policy initiatives to reduce the number of preventable foreclosures should be high on the agenda.”

He offered proposals, including the government buying “delinquent or at-risk mortgages in bulk” and refinancing them under federal programmes such as Hope for Homeowners (H4H).

Financial Times