(Updates with denial)
LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Gordon Brown’s office denied on Wednesday that the British prime minister had hired investment banks to advise him on a possible plan to guarantee all bank deposits. The Daily Mail newspaper reported that Brown had taken the unusual step of hiring bankers UBS UBSN.VX and N.M. Rothschild to advise him on a possible bank bailout deal, independent of finance minister Alistair Darling.
Brown’s official spokesman said the report was “not true”.
“Nor do we in Number 10 (the prime minister’s office) intend to hire any investment banks. We are working hand-in-glove with the Treasury as you would expect,” he told reporters.
The newspaper quoted unnamed government sources as saying Britain was considering matching an Irish move to guarantee all bank deposits in response to the global credit crunch.
Protection of bank deposits has become a key public concern after the government was forced to nationalise two mortgage lenders this year, Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.
Brown said on Tuesday the government planned to raise the guarantee for bank savings to 50,000 pounds ($90,560) from 35,000 pounds in a new banking law.
He indicated Britain would not copy the Irish scheme, telling the BBC: “Let’s remember that the Irish are dealing with taxpayers’ money here. We have got to get what is right and also what is reasonable.” (Reporting by Adrian Croft, Frank Prenesti; Editing by Sue Thomas)