The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that the global economy risks a return of the Great Depression, driven by inequality and financial sector instability, Report says, citing foreign media.

Speaking at the Peterson Institute of International Economics in Washington, Kristalina Georgieva said that while the inequality gap between countries had closed in the last two decades, it had increased within countries. She singled out the UK for particular criticism, saying that in this country, the top 10% now control nearly as much wealth as the bottom 50%.

“This situation is mirrored across much of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), where income and wealth inequality have reached, or are near, record highs,” Kristalina said.

“In some ways, this troubling trend is reminiscent of the early part of the 20th century – when the twin forces of technology and integration led to the first gilded age, the roaring 20s, and, ultimately, financial disaster.”