The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has accused the United States and governments in Europe of not following up their promises to reform the banking sector.
Dominique Strauss-Khan, managing director of the IMF, said real recovery was impossible until concerted efforts were made to clean up the banking system.
He said: "I won't say that nothing has been done. It would be unfair. Already a lot has been done. Not enough. Not enough, in all advanced economies, because it concerns mostly advanced economies, and especially the US and the European Union.
"A lot has been done. Even more has been said."
Speaking in Washington ahead of a series of meetings with to discuss the global recession, Mr Strauss-Kahn said he understood how difficult real reform would be, but warned putting it off would only delay economic recovery.
"I don't underestimate the difficulties of the task. But the fact that the task is difficult doesn't make it any less necessary.
"I want to say this to you with some gravity: All the experience we have of past banking crisis, and we have a lot of experience with those banking crises in this institution, is that you never recover before you completed the cleaning up of the balance sheet of the financial sector.
"You can postpone it. At the same time, you postpone the recovery."