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NHS: Bank Services

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospitals have lost money in the Icelandic banking collapse. (267435)

There were no strategic health authorities, primary care trusts or national health service trusts with any Exchequer funds (i.e. taxpayers’ money) residing in Icelandic banks.

Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Charities had £1.65 million of charitable funds deposited in the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander.

The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust released a statement on 10 October confirming that they had a deposit of £7.5 million with the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander. £1 million of this was NHS money and £6.5 million was charitable funds.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust also have a deposit of £1 million with the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander, all of this deposit was NHS money.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department provided to NHS organisations on investing in Icelandic banks. (267518)

The Department has provided no specific advice to national health service organisations in respect of investment in Icelandic banks.

There were no strategic health authorities (SHAs), primary care trusts (PCT) or NHS trusts with any Exchequer funds (i.e. taxpayers money) residing in Icelandic banks, although Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Charities had £1.65 million of charitable funds deposited in the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander.

In general, the large majority of cash balances held by NHS organisations will be in Government bank accounts with HM Office of the Paymaster General, which all NHS organisations must hold.

PCTs/SHAs may hold commercial bank accounts but in practice the large majority of cash balances of all SHAs and PCTs will be in Government bank accounts. In addition, SHAs and PCTs are discouraged from holding commercial bank accounts by applying a charge to any average cleared balance over £25,000.

NHS trusts are able to hold commercial bank accounts but in practice the large majority of balances for each NHS trust will be held in Government bank accounts. The Department does not hold any information on the individual commercial bank accounts held by NHS trusts.

NHS foundation trusts are autonomous organisations free from central Government control and NHS foundation trust boards of directors are ultimately and collectively responsible for the financial performance of their trust, including decisions on how and where to invest surplus cash. Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, regulates NHS foundation trusts, making sure they are well managed and financially strong. Monitor has issued best practice advice to NHS foundation trusts on the investment of cash.

The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust released a statement on 10 October confirming that they had a deposit of £7.5 million with the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander. £1 million of this was NHS money and £6.5 million was charitable funds.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust also have a deposit of £1 million with the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander, all of this deposit was NHS money.