One of Europe’s leading cancer centers is fighting to recover £7.5 million ($13 million) from a failed Icelandic bank. The money, much of which was generated from charity fundraising, was earmarked for two new radiation therapy centers.
Christie NHS Foundation Trust of Manchester, UK, deposited the money with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (KSF), a UK subsidiary of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, just a few months ago. However, following the collapse of KSF in early October and its subsequent nationalization, depositors such as the Christie found they were unable to access their money.
The government of Iceland has guaranteed that no domestic savers will lose out from the bank’s collapse. However, the many overseas businesses and charities who invested in KSF are currently unsure when or if they will see their savings again.
Despite this setback, a hospital trust spokesperson said that it would move forward with plans to build two radiotherapy centers in Oldham and Salford at a cost of £17 million ($30 million) each.
“This money is for some of our future developments, which means that none of our current patient services will be aff ected. But it is vital we get this money. Vital for patients, staff , and all our generous supporters,” wrote Caroline Shaw, chief executive of the Christie, on her official hospital blog. “All of you can rest assured that we are doing everything possible to make this happen.”
Just £1 million ($1.8 million) of the money deposited by the Christie in KSF came from public funds. The remaining £6.5 million ($11.2 million) was raised through fundraising.
The hospital trust has applied to the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme for legal advice on how to retrieve its money.