Communities and Local Government Committee

Local Council bank loans inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Oral evidence concluded

Background to the inquiry

On 6 July 2015 a Channel 4 Dispatches programme revealed that many Local Authorities had taken out loans from banks for which Councils were paying high interest rates and which many Councils were locked into because of expensive "break" clauses.

The report suggested that up to one fifth of Council borrowing was taken out under such Lender Option, Borrower Option (LOBO) loans for which interest rates were over 7% in some cases. Most of these loans were taken out between 2003 and 2011 when Councils believed interest rates would remain high. The Dispatches programme estimated that banks made more than £1bn in upfront profits on local authority loans.

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