LONDON (AFP) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, facing a general election on May 6, admitted Wednesday he gave banks too much freedom during his 10 years as finance minister before 2007. Banks should have been more tightly regulated in the years leading up to the global financial crisis, Brown said in a television interview with British broadcaster ITV. Quizzed about mistakes he had made, Brown spoke of his regret in handling the banking sector during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 until 2007. In the 1990s, the banks. They all came to us and said, 'Look, we dont want to be regulated, we want to be free of regulation, he told ITV in an interview due to be broadcast later Wednesday. All the complaints I was getting from people was, 'Look youre regulating them too much. And actually the truth is that globally and nationally we should have been regulating them more. So Ive learnt from that. So you dont listen to the industry when they say, 'This is good for us. Youve got to talk about the whole public interest. Brown gave the interview in the second week of the election campaign in which his Labour Party is trailing opposition Conservatives in opinion polls, albeit by a narrower margin in the last few months. The Labour Partys 2010 election manifesto, which was published on Monday, promised to tighten regulation of banks. There will be no return to the excesses of the past banks will face tighter regulation, it said. Quizzed about other mistakes, Brown also cited his 2007 decision to scrap the lowest, 10-pence income tax band a move which helped spark a local election drubbing in 2008. He has previously admitted it was a mistake.