In a lecture for the BBC on Wednesday Sir Mervyn King said that he should have "shouted from the rooftops" about risks faced by the banking system before the financial crisis.
He said recovering from the financial crisis is "the biggest challenge the Bank has faced for decades", and that "banks had grown too quickly and borrowed too much, and that so-called ‘light-touch’ regulation hadn’t prevented any of this”.
David Blanchflower, who was formerly on the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee, told BBC Radio 5 live that King's statement was "disingenuous".
"If Mervyn King had thought more regulation was important he could've done something about it. And because he didn't he must take responsibility for the fact the Bank of England missed the biggest financial crisis in a century," he said.
King suggested putting more money from shareholders "on the line", which would make banks more nervous about risky choices.
He also said that safety measures, such as ring-fencing retail bank operations, should come about "sooner rather than later".
“Successful regulation means understanding and guarding against the big risks, not compliance with ever more detailed rules,” he said. “That means focusing on the wood not the trees, looking not just at individual banks but also at how their fortunes are tied together with other banks and with the rest of the economy.”