Impact of Libor on council taxpayer finances

Somerset Council did not have the information requested.

Dear Somerset County Council,

UK local authorities had in excess of £31 billion invested in
banks, building societies and money market funds as at 2008/09 when
the Icelandic crisis saw taxpayer monies frozen in offshore
accounts. The local government pension fund is £180 billion, with
total UK pension fund assets of approximately $3 trillion.

LAPF has given advice to pension fund managers to determine the
impact of LIBOR on pension funds.
http://www.lapfinvestments.com/2012/07/p...

Since the LIBOR scandal broke last year, we know that LIBOR was
rigged for a period of 5 - 7 years, and earlier IMF research by
Randall Dodd indicated LIBOR was artificially manipulated lower by
30 basis points or 0.3% for a period of 3 years +, reducing the
interest payable on taxpayer investments.

Where investment returns are pegged to the LIBOR rate, moving the
needle 1 basis point on a £1 billion investment would result in
changes to the annual return on investment of +/- £100,000.00 -
adversely affecting public finances and the ability to maintain
public services in a time of austerity.

I am aware the SFO are currently investigating numerous banks to
determine the full impact and extent of LIBOR rigging, and a
parallel market fixing case is working its way through the EU.
However as yet considerably less attention has been given to
identifying potential victims of LIBOR fraud.

One of the principle victims of LIBOR fraud is local authorities
and public institutions with billions of pounds of surplus funds
and pensions invested - with returns and pension fund management
fees pegged to the manipulated libor rate.

In recent weeks we have seen USA municipalities of Houston and
Philadelphia file law suits against 16 global banks related to
libor manipulation and civic finances.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-r...

Please provide copies of: Treasury Management/ Legal/ Accountancy
and Financial advice and opinion provided to Somerset Council
(including council minutes) in relation to:

1. The scale of actual or potential LIBOR manipulation undertaken
by UK, EU and global banks, to which the Council has financial
exposure. (Ie assets at risk calculation)

2. The actual, or potential impact of LIBOR manipulation upon
Council managed investments, loans (LOBOs) savings, pension funds, interest rate swaps, derivatives, and other interest hedging products pegged to
the LIBOR rate.

3. DCLG, Treasury or Government advice on the scale of LIBOR
manipulation, its actual or potential impact to local government,
and options for legal recourse to recover lost taxpayer funds.

4. Minutes of relevant council meetings where LIBOR and
Somerset's response to libor market manipulation was discussed.

Yours faithfully

Joel Benjamin

Somerset Direct - FOI, Somerset Council

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about you. This is called a Data Subject Access Request; phone Somerset
Direct on 0845 345 9166 for more information.

Thank you.

This email, and any attachments is intended solely for the individual to whom it is addressed. It may contain personal and / or sensitive material and should be handled according to the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. If this email carries a protective marking of PROTECT or RESTRICTED in the header it should be handled according to HMG guidelines, if not protectively marked it can be regarded as UNCLASSIFIED.

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Dear Somerset Direct - FOI,

I note this FOI request is now at least one month overdue. Please process the request as a matter of urgency, and respond asap setting out when I can expect a completed response.

Yours sincerely,

Joel Benjamin

Dear Somerset County Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Somerset County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Impact of Libor on council taxpayer finances'.

The request is now in excess of 1 month overdue, and despite raising the issue of delay with the council via telephone and email on 30 October, no response nor reason for the delay has been forthcoming.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

Joel Benjamin

Somerset Direct - FOI, Somerset Council

Thank you for contacting Somerset County Council. A member of our
Freedom of Information Team will deal with your enquiry.

Our opening hours are 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am - 4pm on
Saturdays. Normal text message rates apply, except to T-mobile users,
who may be charged Europe Zone 1 rates.

This communication is intended solely for the person (s) or organisation
it is addressed to. If you are not the intended recipient (s), you must
not copy, distribute or take any action in reliance on it. If you have
received this email in error, please notify the sender and copy the
message to: [email address]

By replying to, or sending an email message to Somerset County Council,
you accept that you have no explicit or implicit expectation of privacy.
In line with the Surveillance and Monitoring Policy, any email messages
(and attachments) transmitted over the Council's network may be subject
to scrutiny.

This email may contain personal and / or sensitive material and should
be handled according to the principles of the Data Protection Act
(1998). If it carries a protective marking of PROTECT or RESTRICTED in
the header, it should be handled according to the Government's
guidelines. If not protectively marked, it can be regarded as
UNCLASSIFIED.

Whilst we take reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses,
any attachments to this email may contain viruses which our anti-virus
software has not identified. You should therefore carry out your own
anti-virus checks before opening any documents. This Council will not
accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses that come
from any attachment or other document supplied with this email.

We will hold and use your personal data in line with the Data Protection
Act (1988). We will not give this information to any unauthorised person
or body. However, we may use this information to help improve services,
deal with complaints and comments, and prevent and detect fraud or
crime.

You have a legal right to ask to see any personal data which we hold
about you. This is called a Data Subject Access Request; phone Somerset
Direct on 0845 345 9166 for more information.

Thank you.

This email, and any attachments is intended solely for the individual to whom it is addressed. It may contain personal and / or sensitive material and should be handled according to the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. If this email carries a protective marking of PROTECT or RESTRICTED in the header it should be handled according to HMG guidelines, if not protectively marked it can be regarded as UNCLASSIFIED.

If this Email has been misdirected, please notify the author immediately. If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in it or attached, and all copies must be deleted immediately.

Whilst we take reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses, any attachments to this email may nevertheless contain viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to identify. You should therefore carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any documents. Somerset County Council will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this email.

All GCSx traffic may be subject to recording and / or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

Information Request, Somerset Council

Somerset Direct Reference: 2646268

Internal Reference: 1973

Date request received: 02/09/2013

Date response due: 30/09/2013

Date of response: 06/11/2013

 

Dear Mr Benjamin

 

I am writing in respect of your recent request for information from
Somerset County Council, which has been dealt with under the provisions of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

I am very, very sorry for the delay in returning our response to you. 
Whilst we received your request into the organisation it appears that your
request was not processed properly and was not forwarded to the
information request team.  I only received your request on the 30^th
October, and immediately went to the service area to check what data we
hold and due to work load I have been unable to reply to you until today.
 I am again very sorry for the delay in processing your request.

 

We do not hold the information that you are seeking and we are unable to
provide it to you.

 

Our response is detailed in bold format underneath your request as
follows.

 

Your request

UK local authorities had in excess of £31 billion invested in banks,
building societies and money market funds as at 2008/09 when the Icelandic
crisis saw taxpayer monies frozen in offshore accounts. The local
government pension fund is £180 billion, with total UK pension fund assets
of approximately $3 trillion.

LAPF has given advice to pension fund managers to determine the impact of
LIBOR on pension funds.
[1]http://www.lapfinvestments.com/2012/07/p...

Since the LIBOR scandal broke last year, we know that LIBOR was rigged for
a period of 5 - 7 years, and earlier IMF research by Randall Dodd
indicated LIBOR was artificially manipulated lower by 30 basis points or
0.3% for a period of 3 years +, reducing the interest payable on taxpayer
investments.

Where investment returns are pegged to the LIBOR rate, moving the needle 1
basis point on a £1 billion investment would result in changes to the
annual return on investment of +/- £100,000.00 - adversely affecting
public finances and the ability to maintain public services in a time of
austerity.

I am aware the SFO are currently investigating numerous banks to determine
the full impact and extent of LIBOR rigging, and a parallel market fixing
case is working its way through the EU. However as yet considerably less
attention has been given to identifying potential victims of LIBOR fraud.

One of the principle victims of LIBOR fraud is local authorities and
public institutions with billions of pounds of surplus funds and pensions
invested - with returns and pension fund management fees pegged to the
manipulated libor rate.

In recent weeks we have seen USA municipalities of Houston and
Philadelphia file law suits against 16 global banks related to libor
manipulation and civic finances.
[2]http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-r...

Please provide copies of: Treasury Management/ Legal/ Accountancy and
Financial advice and opinion provided to Somerset Council (including
council minutes) in relation to:

 

Q1.  The scale of actual or potential LIBOR manipulation undertaken by UK,
EU and global banks, to which the Council has financial exposure. (Ie
assets at risk calculation)

 

Q2.  The actual, or potential impact of LIBOR manipulation upon Council
managed investments, loans (LOBOs) savings, pension funds, interest rate
swaps, derivatives, and other interest hedging products pegged to the
LIBOR rate.

Q3.  DCLG, Treasury or Government advice on the scale of LIBOR
manipulation, its actual or potential impact to local government, and
options for legal recourse to recover lost taxpayer funds.

 

Q4.  Minutes of relevant council meetings where LIBOR and Somerset's
response to libor market manipulation was discussed.

 

Our Reply

We do not hold any information, minutes or reports in relation to your
request.

 

If you feel your request has not been answered in sufficient detail or if
you wish to clarify the information given, please contact me and I will be
happy to address the issues you raise.

 

If you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt
with, or the information you have received, you can ask for an internal
review of our decision.

 

Please send your request to:

 

Peter Grogan, Information Governance Team, Client Services

Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY or email
[3][email address]

 

Please quote the reference number 2646268 in any future communications.

 

An internal review will then be carried out and we will write to you with
the results of our investigation. If you are not content with the outcome
of our review, you may then apply directly to the Information
Commissioner’s Office ([4]www.ico.gov.uk) for an appeal.  The Information
commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113

 

Finally, please be aware that your response will appear, without your
contact details, on the Council’s website at:

 

[5]http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Request Co-ordinator

Communications Team

Tel: 01823 355584,

Email: [6][email address

Somerset County Council, Post Point: PP B3E 2, County Hall, Taunton, TA1
4DY

URL: [7]www.somerset.gov.uk

 

FOI Disclosure Log URL: [8]http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog

This email, and any attachments is intended solely for the individual to
whom it is addressed. It may contain personal and / or sensitive material
and should be handled according to the principles of the Data Protection
Act 1998. If this email carries a protective marking of PROTECT or
RESTRICTED in the header it should be handled according to HMG guidelines,
if not protectively marked it can be regarded as UNCLASSIFIED.

If this Email has been misdirected, please notify the author immediately.
If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute,
copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in it or attached,
and all copies must be deleted immediately. 

Whilst we take reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses,
any attachments to this email may nevertheless contain viruses which our
anti-virus software has failed to identify.  You should therefore carry
out your own anti-virus checks before opening any documents.  Somerset
County Council will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer
viruses emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this
email.

All GCSx traffic may be subject to recording and / or monitoring in
accordance with relevant legislation.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.lapfinvestments.com/2012/07/p
2. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-r
3. mailto:[email address]
4. file:///tmp/www.ico.gov.uk
5. http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog
6. mailto:[email address]
7. file:///tmp/www.somerset.gov.uk
8. http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog