Brown calls for increased IMF funds

Prime Minister Gordon Brown (C) sits with Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling (R) and Business Secretary Peter Mandelson during his meeting with bank executives at 10 Downing Street in London March 24, 2009. Top executives of leading European, U.S. and Asian banks discussed capital adequacy, regulatory reform and attempts to kick-start the global economy at a meeting in London on Tuesday. REUTERS/Dan Kitwood/Pool

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on Tuesday for the International Monetary Fund to have at least $500 billion (340 billion pounds) of resources to help countries cope with the financial crisis.

In a speech to the European Parliament, Brown said he believed the common principles behind the U.S., British and wider European plans for cleaning up banks’ balance sheets would help rebuild confidence and restore lending to the wider economy.

He called for a new, reformed International Monetary Fund which he said must have at least $500 billion of resources, and promised Eastern European members of the EU “we will not walk away” in their time of need.

Reporting by Adrian Croft; Writing by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Keith Weir