Welsh councils recoup majority of Iceland bank investments

The logos of failed Icelandic banks Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbankinn Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The failed Icelandic banks: Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbankinn

Welsh councils have recovered the majority of money they invested in Icelandic banks prior to their collapse in 2008.

Powys council said it had recovered all of the £4m it had deposited.

It was one of eight councils, three universities and three former police authorities in Wales that had almost £75m tied up.

The remaining councils have recovered on average 97% of their money, with further reimbursements expected.

A BBC Wales request asked the seven other councils to state their recovery status.

  • Neath Port Talbot council: 96.5% of £20m invested
  • Caerphilly council: 96.8% of £15m invested
  • Ceredigion council: 98.8% of £5.5m invested
  • Gwynedd council: 98% of £4m invested
  • Flintshire council: 92% of £3.7m invested
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf council: 98.3% of £3m invested
  • Monmouthshire council: 98% of £1.2m invested

The former police authorities have also had success in recovering their money.

  • South Wales Police: 97.1% of £7m invested
  • Dyfed-Powys Police : 91% of £2m invested
  • Gwent Police: 93.6% of £1m invested

Three Welsh universities, Glyndwr University in Wrexham, the University of Wales and Aberystwyth University, also had more than £8m invested, but it is unclear how much they have recovered to date.

Attractive returns

Placing money in Iceland seemed an attractive proposition in 2008, when at one point interest rates were as high as 18%.

But the following global financial crisis saw Iceland's three major banks go under, taking with them nearly £1bn of investments from more than 100 authorities across the UK.

Other public sector bodies also had money in the banks, along with charities and individuals.

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