TEN years ago, this week, a mission to rescue Britain’s ailing banks was branded the last throw of the dice.

The £400bn rescue package to beat the credit crunch included the partnationalisation of all the big High Street names.

Gordon Brown said Britain now "led the world" by buying stakes in banks to keep them afloat.

The bailout was followed by a half-point cut in interest rates. It won backing from the opposition parties but failed to halt the London stock market slump.

Also, that week, the last survivor of the stricken battle cruiser, HMS Hood, died aged 85.

Ted Briggs, who was born in Redcar, east Cleveland, was one of only three of its crew which survived when the vessel was sunk by a German battleship in 1941.

He signed up for the Royal Navy as soon as he was old enough and he was later posted to the very ship which had inspired his naval career.

In his book, Flagship Hood, Mr Briggs said: "I stood on the beach for some considerable time, drinking in the beauty, grace and immaculate strength of her."

After being assigned to the HMS Hood, he said: "It never once occurred to me that she might be sunk. As far as I was concerned, she was invincible. And everybody on board shared this view.”

Meanwhile, the world’s richest nations met to find a solution to tackle the worst financial crisis in generations.

Finance ministers tried to find a way to get ahead of the punishing stock market falls that wiped billions of shares and pension funds and brought some of the biggest banks in the world to their knees.

Chancellor Alistair Darling warned that it was "essential" the world's leading economies took further action to stabilise the situation.

Mr Darling urged the other wealthy nations to follow Britain's lead with its bank recapitalisation plan.

He said: "This is a genuinely global problem and we, all of us, all over the world, need to step up to the mark and do something about it.

"I believe that governments can make a difference - they will make a difference provided that we agree to act together."