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King: Don't demonise bankers

The outgoing Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King has warned against "demonising" bankers over the financial crash, arguing there was a failure in the system. He also said that the government's Help to Buy scheme must not become permanent.

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Sir Mervyn King issues Help to Buy scheme warning

The outgoing Bank of England governor has warned that George Osborne's plan to boost the housing market is "too close for comfort" to a general state guarantee for mortgages.

Sir Mervyn King said there was "no place in the long run" for the Chancellor's Help to Buy scheme, which will see the Government will guarantee up to 15% of a mortgage on properties worth up to £600,000.

The scheme, which starts in January 2014, is due to run for three years, and Sir Mervyn warned it must not be allowed to become permanent.

The outgoing governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In an interview which will be broadcast on Sky News' Murnaghan programme tomorrow, Sir Mervyn said: "I'm sure that there is no place in the long run for a scheme of this kind.

"This scheme is a little too close for comfort to a general scheme to guarantee mortgages. We had a very healthy mortgage market with competing lenders attracting borrowers before the crisis, and we need to get back to that healthy mortgage market.

"We do not want what the United States have, which is a government-guaranteed mortgage market, and they are desperately trying to find a way out of that position.

"So, we mustn't let this scheme turn into a permanent scheme. Now when is the right time to terminate it will depend on economic conditions at the time".

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