UK Plans Emergency Bank Rescue Package

Britain's finance minister said on Wednesday he was working on a set of measures which will allow the government to launch emergency rescues if other banks run into trouble similar to that experienced by Northern Rock.

Alistair Darling told the Daily Mail newspaper he would increase protection for savers and confirmed the current system would be overhauled to allow quicker decisions when trouble starts.

"We need a system that can respond to difficulties in the future and problems that arise quickly," Darling was quoted as saying.

He said the Bank of England (BoE), the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) needed to be more responsive and the responsibilities of all three needed to be clarified.

Darling's Treasury said on Monday it would publish proposals in the new year to reform Britain's financial regulatory structure once a parliamentary investigation into the country's first run on a bank in more than a 100 years was complete.

Britain's current system -- a tripartite framework where the FSA looks after bank supervision, the BoE looks after financial stability and the Treasury look after legislation -- came under fire after the run on Northern Rock in September, and blame for the crisis was passed around the various authorities.

Darling also said he was confident Britain's economy was robust enough to carry it through current market turbulence.

"Britain has an extremely strong economy and the world economy is growing," he said. "And that growth will help usdeal with the practical problems we face."