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Lively debate over Icelandic banks crisis at WFDC meeting
10:29am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
A LIVELY debate erupted during Wyre Forest District Council’s full meeting after the leader was accused of being “complacent” about recovering millions of pounds from Icelandic banks.
Labour’s Nigel Knowles criticised John Campion for not taking the matter seriously during last night's meeting after he asked the Conservative where the directors of the banks were, as he had asked him to invite them to the meeting.
Mr Campion replied he was not aware of the location of the directors of the Icelandic banks to which Mr Knowles said: “It seems to me he’s very complacent about this situation”.
Mr Campion hit back, adding: “If I believed that this situation wasn’t important why would I put myself front and centre from the very beginning? Why have I held myself personally responsible? This is exceptionally important.”
He added anyone who thought he did not take the issue seriously did not understand what he does.
The council had £9 million invested in the banks at the time of the collapse of Iceland’s banking system in 2008.
It included £3 million in Landsbanki and a total of £6 million in two Icelandic-owned UK banks - £5 million in Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander and £1 million in Heritable Bank.
A review in 2009 found the district council was not to blame for having the cash trapped in the banks.
During the meeting, Mr Campion gave an update on the recovery, which said more than £6.45m had been received in dividends from the the investments, with further payments expected.
He said a fourth dividend of £150,823 had been received from Landsbanki earlier this month, adding the council remained “optimistic” the vast majority of the cash would be recovered.
The authority has also had regular dividend payments from the other two banks and received a 14th dividend of £167,300 from Heritable in August.
The district council has now had just under 72 per cent of the total outstanding.
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