Charities lost up to £200m in Icelandic banks

Charities have lost up to £200m in the Icelandic banking collapse, according to surveys by the sector’s main umbrella bodies.

Research by the NCVO, Acevo, the Charities Aid Foundation, Charity Finance Directors' Group and the Charity Commission has revealed that 48 charities are affected and they have lost between £86.6m and £200m.

But an NCVO spokesman said: "These are the charities that we know of. There may be other charities that have not come forward and we would urge them to do so."

The figures were presented to Kevin Brennan, Minister for the Third Sector, and Treasury officials at a meeting on Tuesday night, but not publicly released until Thursday.

At the meeting, sector representatives Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO; Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo; Ernese Skinner, policy and campaigns manager at the CFDG; and John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, urged the Government to introduce a loan guarantee scheme for the affected charities. This would entail an interest-free loan until they had recouped their losses.

"We want them to act as quickly as possible," said Etherington. "During recession, charities have increased pressure to help the vulnerable so they need these funds more than ever."

An NCVO spokesman stressed that the details of any scheme have yet to be thrashed out and that the Government could come back with another plan.

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