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The head of Barclays bank predicted that the economic gloom gripping the UK would deepen further, with house prices set to tumble as unemployment figures soar.

John Varley, group chief executive of Barclays, painted a bleak outlook, predicting that property prices could fall by up to 30%.

In an interview with Jeff Randall Live on Sky News, the bank boss also criticised mortgage borrowing levels over the last decade.

The comments will be seen as highly significant in the City as they come from such an eminent figure.

Mr Varley warned that the UK was only "halfway" through the slump with house prices set for even greater falls.

He said: "Our view was that from the top to the bottom, you would see a fall of something like 25 to 30%.

"I suspect we're about halfway through that at the moment. I mean that slowdown, the negative house price inflation started in 2007, it's accelerated in 2008.

"We're probably about halfway through that period, so in other words we've got another 10 to 15% to fall between now and the end of next year. That would be our assessment." continues here

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