MORE than £3m of Oxfordshire’s public money remains in Icelandic banks six years after they collapsed.

The county’s six local authorities, including Oxfordshire County Council, made a total investment of £28.5m into numerous banks.

When the banks crashed in October 2008, West Oxfordshire District Council had £9m in Icelandic deposits, Cherwell District £6.5m, Oxfordshire County Council £5m, Oxford City Council £4.5m, South Oxfordshire District Council £2.5m and Vale of White Horse District Council £1m.

Three of Iceland’s largest banks Glitnir, Landsbanki and Kaupthing collapsed while holding nearly £1bn worth of investment from over 100 local authorities.

The authorities have been repaid the majority of the investment but several have sold off the remaining debt for an overall loss.

Vale of White Horse District Council invested £1m in Icelandic bank Landsbanki and received just over half of its investment back.

The council had expected its investment to be repaid but has said that new legislation in Iceland had brought about uncertainty.

A treasury management strategy report said that due to uncertainty over the remaining funds, the council sold its remaining debt for a discount, losing nearly £100,000 on the initial investment.

Council leader Matthew Barber said they had made the right decision.

He said: “It was a difficult decision but I think we have done well out of it.

“We have got a large bulk of the money back for the taxpayer.”

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Oxford City Council invested £4.5m and says it is still looking at ways to get back more than £400,000.

Spokesman Chofamba Sithole said: “The city council originally invested £1.5m with Glitnir and £3m with Heritable.

“Presently, we are owed £286,200 by Glitnir and £179,480 by Heritable.

We are considering the options available to sell the remaining balance.”

Leader Bob Price said: “We are pretty confident that we will get it all back over the next couple of years.

“It’s such a small amount left and we won’t be selling it off.”

West Oxfordshire District Council said it had sold off part of the debt but was still owed just under £1m of the £9 m.

Spokeswoman Sara Long said they too were exploring options.

Cherwell District Council said it still had about £1.5m, which it was working to get back.

SODC said it had received £2.17m of its initial £2.63m investment back. It said it hopes to get back about £2.28m, meaning a loss of around £350,000.

The county council said half of its £5m investment was repaid last February and it had since sold off the outstanding debt.

Last February, Thames Valley Police confirmed that £4.8m of their £5m investment in Iceland had been recouped and that the force had sold its claim against Landsbanki.

Oxford University had £30m tied up in four of the banks.

It was one of 12 universities across the country with money invested in Icelandic banks. £30m was deposited in Landsbanki, Glitnir and Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander. The university said it had recouped almost of all its investment.

Oxford University's Head of Tax and Treasury, Sean Anderson, said: "The University of Oxford had £30million tied up in investments in Icelandic banks during the financial crash of 2008 and has since recouped over 99% of that sum.

"We are hopeful that we can still recover a significant proportion of the remaining accrued interest."

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