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Imperial Clear of Icelandic Crunch

Oct 15 2008 16:39
Ashley Brown
Imperial is not affected by the collapse of Icelandic banks, with the College's substantial investments safe - but its NHS Trust is not so lucky.
The only Iceland students should worry about (Photo: C Ford, released under the GNU Free Documentation License

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.

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Discussion about “Imperial Clear of Icelandic Crunch”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Oct 15 2008 20:12

Ho Ho,

I was the College's Treasury Accountant when BCCI went belly-up. We didn't have any money invested with them at the time (and never had) but I vividly recall the slightly panicky telephone call from the funding council asking whether we had, and their refusal to tell me if anyone else had....

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