LONDON (AFP) - The price of a barrel of crude could double if the unrest in the Arab world deteriorates, oil trader turned British international development minister Alan Duncan warned Saturday. Duncan, who has 30 years' business experience in the Gulf, told The Times newspaper that the price of a barrel of crude could top $200 (140 euros), well above the record high of $147 reached in July 2008. If extremists used the instability in the Arab world to bomb oil tankers, pipelines or Saudi reserves, prices could even hit $250 a barrel, Duncan said. The Times said analysts fear such highs could trigger another recession in Britain. "I've been saying in government for two months... $200 is on the cards if this goes wrong, if anyone is reckless and foments unrest. All I'm predicting is danger," said Duncan. "It could be very serious. If crude oil doubles, you're going to have a very serious spike (in petrol prices). Try living without it for a week." The British government is under pressure over the price at the pumps, with 63 percent of the cost going to the exchequer. If the worst happened, current prices of 1.30 ($2.10, 1.50 euros) a litre at the pump "could look like a luxury", Duncan said, warning of 4 a litre. "A Twittered-up generation now has massive power. All Arab countries are moving on. But they are all different," he said. "The powers are shifting but you can't do it overnight. We are asking them to do at the flick of a switch what we took centuries to do. "The majority of these rulers are not dictators. These are countries with their own history and cultures. Who are we to lecture? We must treat these countries with respect." The people who want all unelected leaders to go should remember Iran, Duncan said. "It didn't work with the shah, we must pray it works in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. "At the moment this is secular, economic and demographic but if it goes wrong you will see Islamic fundamentalism becoming the only vehicle for people's grievances," he warned. Britain risks another crisis Britain risks another financial crisis unless banking reforms are pushed through, the Bank of England governor said in an interview on Saturday. Mervyn King told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that "imbalances" remain in the banking system and are "beginning to grow again". The boss of Britain's central bank also said high street banks were routinely exploiting millions of customers and urged them to stop trying to simply "maximise profits next week". King's intervention comes as a government commission considers whether financial institutions should be forced to separate their investment and retail banking arms. "We allowed a (banking) system to build up which contained the seeds of its own destruction," King said. "We've not yet solved the 'too big to fail' or, as I prefer to call it, the 'too important to fail' problem. The concept of being too important to fail should have no place in a market economy." Asked whether another financial crisis might occur, King said: "Yes. The problem is still there. The search for yield goes on. Imbalances are beginning to grow again." The BoE governor said that over the past 20 years, too many people in financial services had thought "if it's possible to make money out of gullible or unsuspecting customers that's perfectly acceptable". The government announced last month it had struck a deal with the major banks on bonus pay and overall lending, as it seeks to curb executive excess and strengthen a delicate economic recovery. Finance minister George Osborne said total bonuses paid to British-based staff of the four biggest banks will be lower than last year as part of the deal, brokered after weeks of talks. The BoE kept its key interest rate at a record low 0.50 percent in February -- where it has stood since March 2009 -- after a 6-3 vote as Britain struggles with an uncertain economic recovery and soaring inflation. Pressed on the chances of an imminent interest rate rise -- potentially as early as next week -- King said there was a "perfectly reasonable case for doing it now". But he added that increasing rates too soon would be a "futile gesture". While rising costs have increased pressure for higher interest rates, the BoE is also wary about Britain's fragile recovery from a recession that ended in the final quarter of 2009.