KCC con­fi­dent over cash in Ice­landic banks

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Remember When? - pfran­cis@athek­m­group.co.uk

KENT County Coun­cil has re­jected claims that it could lose as much as 90 per cent of the £50m it has tied up in Ice­landic banks.

The claim was made by an in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cial ex­pert rep­re­sent­ing one of the com­pa­nies that ad­vised lo­cal au­thor­i­ties they should stop in­vest­ing in Ice­land.

Mark Hors­field, a di­rec­tor of Ar­ling­close, a con­sul­tancy that ad­vised 50 coun­cils about where to put their money, said cur­rent mar­ket trad­ing sug­gested coun­cils could even lose up to 99.5 per cent.

But KCC de­nied this say­ing Mr Hors­field hadn’t taken into ac­count that lo­cal au­thor­i­ties were pre­ferred cred­i­tors, who would be given pri­or­ity over oth­ers.

The coun­cil also said it was now ex­pect­ing some of the money to be re­turned from one of the three banks, Her­i­ta­ble, in July.

Cllr Nick Chard (Con), KCC’s cab­i­net mem­ber for fi­nance, said: “What is prob­a­bly true is that peo­ple who are not pre­ferred cred­i­tors will not get any­where near 90 per cent of their money back. I am not go­ing to dis­pute that.”

But he added: “As a pre­ferred cred­i­tor, we are very con­fi­dent of be­ing first in the queue and that we will be get­ting a good re­turn on our money.”

He said he was un­able to go into de­tail about on­go­ing dis­cus­sions be­cause the county coun­cil had signed a con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ment with the banks’ ad­min­is­tra­tors.

He em­pha­sised that it was thought that the banks’ as­sets would be enough to meet all their debts to coun­cils.

Of the £50m Kent County Coun­cil has tied up, £17m is with Lands­banki.

Ad­min­is­tra­tors of the bank re­cently in­di­cated its li­a­bil­i­ties, of which 40 per cent are de­posits, are nearly three times the value of its re­main­ing as­sets.

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