Despite its extensive investments, Imperial is not one of the twelve universities with substantial exposure to the Icelandic bank collapse. HEFCE revealed last week that twelve UK universities - including three in Wales - had around £77m at risk in Icelandic investments, with Cambridge standing to lose up to £11m.
Despite the College itself having no Icelandic investments, one part of the Imperial empire may be at risk of losing money, or at the very least having trouble accessing it - Hammersmith hospitals NHS Charities is still going through the merger process to form Imperial College NHS Trust and has £1.65m tied up in Iceland.
Imperial has built up a substantial fund in recent years, for both student hardship loans and the campus renewal project. It was able to borrow £100m in low, fixed-rate bonds before placing the money in high-interest investment funds, in an effort to provide the college with a source of money unemcumbered by research grant restrictions. Centenary fundraising has also boosted projects such as the Student Opportunties Fund, with over £1m raised in the past five years, although all investments are likely to see reduced returns in the current climate.
A more pressing concern at present appears to be where the axe might fall due to falling tax revenues in the case of a recession - a number of important scientific projects were already under threat before the current economic woes.