New na­tional bank would be safe haven

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Commercial -

It comes af­ter the re­cent Ice­landic banks cash cri­sis which saw mil­lions in­vested by KCC and more than 100 lo­cal au­thor­i­ties at risk af­ter three of the coun­try’s banks folded.

Mr Gil­roy said coun­cils would al­ways need to have some­where to in­vest and de­posit money as part of the way they han­dled their bud­gets. As a re­sult, they needed to ask if there were al­ter­na­tive ways of do­ing things.

He said: “The ques­tion is how can we in­sure and pro­tect tax­pay­ers’ money in th­ese times be­cause we have to de­posit our money some­where. Is there an­other way we could do it?”

With the amount of money in coun­cils’ bud­gets, as much as £150bil­lion in funds could be avail­able, with up to £20bil­lion at any one time on de­posit, he added.

“With those sums, a lo­cal gov­ern­ment bank would be highly cov­eted.”

A na­tional bank run by and for coun­cils would be a safe haven at a time when the econ­omy was so tur­bu­lent, he said.

“We are in un­prece­dented times and per­haps the only time in my life­time that a re­ces­sion has been com­pli­cated by the global bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

KCC chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Gil­roy

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