Libor fines to fund armed forces charities, says Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne at Fisher House in Birmingham George Osborne said he wanted to support those who personified the best of British values

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Three military charities are to share £1.3m from fines imposed on banks that had rigged interest rates, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

The three charities support injured soldiers, provide tickets to events and pay for breaks for bomb disposal teams.

Mr Osborne made the announcement at a project in the West Midlands that has already benefited from the fund.

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

Since then, Swiss bank UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland have been fined hundreds of millions of pounds for rigging the rate, which is used to set a range of financial deals.

During a visit to Fisher House, near Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the chancellor said he wanted to help those who personified the best of British values.

'Best in society'

"I wanted to take money that was paid in fines by people who, frankly, demonstrated the worst of the values in our society and help support those who demonstrate the very best values in our society - and those are the soldiers and sailors and airmen who fight on our behalf," Mr Osborne told BBC Breakfast.

The £4.2m cost of building Fisher House, an 18-room facility where families of injured servicemen and women can stay while their relatives are treated at the hospital, was mostly funded by charities but the government contributed £1m in December from Libor fines.

It is due to open at the end of March.

The three charities set to benefit from Saturday's announcement are:

  • The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association will get £1.1m to fund support groups for families of service personnel who have been killed or injured
  • The Felix Fund will get £65,000 to provide breaks for all 32 bomb disposal teams expected to return from Afghanistan in the next 12 months
  • Tickets for Troops will get £160,000 to provide tickets to musical, sporting, entertainment and cultural events for service personnel and those who have been medically discharged

Guardsman David Watson, who is being treated in Birmingham for injuries caused by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan three years ago, described the announcement as "fantastic".

"It will help us get what we need and help the families get what they want," said the triple amputee, who met Mr Osborne during his visit.

The government announced plans to distribute £35m in fines for Libor manipulation to help service personnel and their families in October.

The Treasury said the rest of the fund would be allocated over the next two years.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    playing to the balcony george . he knows that support for the troops is popular and rightly so but this stinks of the tories trying to be popular when this support should be state funded . he is playing politics .

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    Good idea whether it is cynical or not these charities do fantastic work and help those whose lives have been dramatically changed. I am sure there will be more fines that could be used to help other charities and community projects. Let us see what else could be used this way, come on some real latereal thinking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    Although all good causes, surely the money should go back to the clients of the banks? Its like the Dorrie MP who was donating her salary to "her" local charities "she" supported. This is tax payers money, we should not pay to charities that we may not agree with. As bombs/housing [in GB] cause distruction then I would like to see woodlands/wildlife invested in not destroyed by unwanted roads etc

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    Any government with morals should look after it's service personel both during & after service if they need it no matter if they're injured or not, they should help them find proper jobs after their service & any injuries should be appropriately compensated for without any fuss! Charities should not have to be relied on to give what the government should give in return for their sacrifice!

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    I'm a serviceman, but this is a bad decision. Armed Forces charities have done well over the last few years thanks to the sympathy of the country; I don't think they are short of cash, though more is always appreciated. Looks like a cynical attempt to garner some public support - the money should surely go to the whole country, the folks who again have suffered at the hands of corrupt bankers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    I am very glad that those people who get themselves shot to pieces for these people are at last getting help and treatment, however,

    I am still conscious of my own position where the government has used their infamous "parking" to put me here on ESA. I would like to do some kind of work and since they have left here till I'm 46 (to old) I need training. Until them I'm just left here costing money

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    Libor fines to fund armed forces charities, says Osborne;

    Great idea Mr Osborne, how about using the money to roll back defence cuts, so soldiers keep their jobs, also all the Nurses, Police officers and other critical works, yet again why not use national lottery money to do this, also how about taxing all those gambling sites base in British owned places like Gibraltar that would be a start.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    They are not letting Osborne have a hand in this are they?

    Good luck to the Armed Forces Charities in being given the cash to be used where it's needed I hope you get all you've been promised and are able to help many.

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    charity charity charity..............EVERYONE GETS CHARITY EXCEPT THEPOOR

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.


    You're a great advert for Christianity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    just as well the libor rate was fiddled, hence fines. otherwise the govt would have nowt to spend.

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    I'm pleased that the Government is donating money to such a worthy cause but let's not pretend that this is anything other than a rather cynical gesture in the name of electoral popularity.

    The LIBOR fines will be returned to the general tax pot. If the Government really wants to be charitable, let it make the donation without specifying the source of the funds.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    Absolutely disgusting decision. It is our money therefore we should have a say in where it goes....certainly not the forces

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    So, what about the many other charitys that have been devastated by recession & their funding cut from both government & also reduced public contributions due to declining affordability

    This is just £1.3 million, what about the rest of the £HUNDREDS of millions of fines

    This is a drop in the ocean to total fines money, yet receives maximum headlines, its like Yes Prime Minister propaganda

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    1.3million. Whats that in real terms?....about two bankers bonuses.

    This government thinks that the public are idiots. They traipse out these obvious PR stunts to try to fool us into thinking they care or are actually doing something when, in fact, these millionaires don't give a damn about anyone and are totally clueless on what to do with the economy.

    The aren't fooling anyone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    £290 million minus £1.3 million leaves £288.7 million in the kitty, and that was just from Barclays, without all the other fines. If you really wanted to show support for our troops, you could fund scholarships for the kids of those killed in action, instead of clawing back pay from the widows of those killed before the end of the month, as has happened in the past.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    How do people in full-time well paid jobs become a charity. Fisher House? Yes, a very good cause. Holidays and event tickets - buy your own as most of us do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Thw this is going when the markets open in Asia and selll the pound you will not be able to buy a loaf of bread for that amount, lol.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Why specifically Forces charities? The banks stole from all of us.


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