Alistair Darling is pressing banks and other lenders to improve their fixed-rate deals and offer mortgage holidays, in exchange for the £50BN bailout from the Bank of England.
I suspect that his words will fall on deaf ears.
Abbey has withdrawn all its buy-to-let mortgages, and has announced an an increase in fixed-rate deals of 0.61%.
Darling admits that, as we are in a free market economy, he cannot force lenders to offer better deals.
That being said, once this liquidity crisis is solved, the banks can expect a much "firmer" regulatory environment.