Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Britain's Queen Elizabeth has branded banks "too lax" in light of the financial crisis.

The 86-year-old monarch and Prince Philip toured the Bank of England in London's financial district yesterday (13.12.12) when the queen was asked about the recession, which hit Britons in 2008.

Financial expert Sujit Kapadia approached the queen to discuss her previous comments about the downturn, who described it as "awful" and asked, "Why did nobody notice it?"

The pair engaged in a healthy discussion as the queen asked what financial authorities were doing to avoid another financial meltdown, and added: "People got a bit lax...perhaps it is difficult to foresee."

The monarch - who usually refrains from commentary on current affairs - suggested part of the issue was the Financial Services Authority's lack of power.

She said: "They didn't have the teeth."

Philip, meanwhile, questioned whether another downturn was coming and warned the stunned bankers.

He quipped: "There's not another one coming, is there? Don't do it again!"

Speaking after his exchange with the queen, Sujit said it was an "honour" to discuss financial issues with her.

He said: "It was an honour to be asked, and a real pleasure to be able to offer some explanation.

"I think Her Majesty recognised these things are very difficult and it's not straightforward."

The royal couple were given a tour around the bank by governor Sir Melvyn King, visiting a vault with £27 billion worth of gold bars and signed £1 million bank notes.