Between July 2007 and November 2008, Newham council entered into 10 range LOBO loans with Barclays worth a total of £238.5 million. New information on the council’s controversial loan portfolio shows the impact of its relationship with Barclays, raising questions about risk management decisions.
For as long as most people can remember, UK municipal finance has been safe and boring. In the wild days of the 1980s, Hammersmith & Fulham council almost went bust speculating in derivatives, and was saved by a landmark House of Lords ruling. Since then, UK council borrowing has been tightly constrained by central government while derivative use has been banned.