The British chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, on Wednesday defended a decision not to reveal £62 billion in emergency loans made to Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS at the height of the financial crisis last year.
Mr. Darling said that Mervyn A. King, the governor of the Bank of England, had been correct to keep the loans, worth $104 billion, secret in 2008 because the banking system was close to meltdown. Mr. King waited until R.B.S. had signed onto a government program to insure its most toxic assets before deciding that it was safe to disclose the aid, Mr. Darling said.