Autumn Statement: Libor fines go to military charities

War memorial in County Durham This is the second tranche of Libor fines to go to armed forces charities

The government has said £100m of money gathered from UK banks in Libor fines will go to military charities and the work of ambulance and police services.

It was one of a raft of measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Autumn Statement.

He said it reflected "society's debt of gratitude to our servicemen and women".

It follows a previous move, in October 2012, which allocated some £35m in fines imposed on the banking industry to armed forces charities.

"To reflect our society's debt of gratitude to our servicemen and women, and their families, I want to make a further £100m of Libor fines available to our brilliant military charities and extend support to those who care for the work of our police, fire and ambulance services," said Mr Osborne.

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"The terrible events in Glasgow this weekend and the work they're doing right now to cope with the adverse weather remind us how much we owe them."

The Libor scandal surfaced last June, when Barclays was fined £290m for attempting to fix the inter-bank interest rate.

Since then, Swiss bank UBS, Rabobank and Royal Bank of Scotland have been fined hundreds of millions of pounds.

"This latest announcement by the chancellor is fantastic news for all armed forces charities," said Jane Easton, secretary general of the RAF Association.

"The RAF Association is delighted to have been awarded around £30,000 in an earlier tranche of funding, which we are using to train all of our welfare volunteers to an accredited standard."

She said it was vital to ensure that all the association's volunteers had the correct skills set "to meet the needs of those who require our support", and that all volunteers should be trained by 2015.

A spokesman from SSAFA, which supports military personnel and their families, said: "SSAFA welcomes the announcement that further money has been made available for military charities as a result of Libor fines levied on banks."

"This funding will enable military charities such as SSAFA to make preparations for the long-term care of our Armed Forces and their families, wherever and however it is needed."

But Sam Bowman, research director at free-market economic think tank the Adam Smith Institute, said: "It's bizarre to give Libor fines to charities.

"It simply makes no sense. What's the connection between Libor and military charities?"

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