LONDON - BRITAIN'S Treasury chief said on Sunday that he is ready to step in to save any more banks that get into trouble.
Alistair Darling said the government was willing to take 'pretty big steps that we wouldn't take in ordinary times' to help Britain weather the credit crunch.
In the past year the government has acted to nationalise struggling mortgage lenders Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.
Darling told the BBC that the government also had provided billions of pounds (dollars) in support to the banking sector.
He said it was 'important to take generalised action as well as being ready to take particular action if you get a particular problem with an individual bank.'
Europe is struggling to respond to the financial crisis that originated in the US housing sector.
The leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Italy called for coordinated action after an economic crisis summit Saturday, but offered few concrete proposals and shied away from the sort of huge banking bailout passed by the US Congress a day earlier.
Britain's new Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson, on Sunday criticised Ireland and Greece, which have angered other European Union countries by unilaterally guaranteeing all depositors' savings in their banks.
Mr Mandelson said European countries should act together because their economies are interdependent.
'We are all in this together,' he told Sky News. -- AP