The Bank of England gave secret, emergency loans worth over £60bn to RBS and HBOS during last year's financial crisis.
In October and November 2008, RBS and HBOS received a total of £61.6bn in emergency funding.
Speaking at a Parliamentary hearing today, governor Mervyn King revealed the extent of the Bank of England's support for the struggling banks, saying the loans were needed to prevent a loss of confidence spreading through the banking system.
The Bank of England says it had carefully considered whether or not to reveal the information to the public, and decided to keep it a secret until there was no longer a threat to financial stability.
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