A LEADING councillor has welcomed a legal ruling that puts UK councils at the front of the queue in clawing back money invested in failed Icelandic banks.
High Peak Borough Council was among scores of local authorities that invested in the Landsbanki Bank.
And it was feared that up to £600,000 of taxpayers’ money might be lost if priority creditor status was not retained.
But the Icelandic Supreme Court has now ruled that UK councils are among the organisations to which priority status should be given when creditors’ claims are settled.
The news was welcomed by Tim Norton, executive councillor for corporate services.
“We are delighted that the Icelandic Supreme Court has found in favour of UK local authorities and other UK wholesale depositors.
“The judgment currently applies to ‘test case’ authorities only but we are now very optimistic that the decision will be applied equally to non-test case authorities – of which High Peak is one – meaning that all UK local authorities’ claims will be recognised as deposits with priority status over other creditors’ claims.
“If so, then all UK local authorities will be paid first when it comes to getting their money back and will recover almost all of the money they had on deposit with the failed Icelandic banks.
“Locally, securing priority status in the administration of Landsbanki could save the council taxpayers of the High Peak as much as £600,000, which – coming more than three years after the banks failed – is potentially a huge victory,” he stressed.