Labour council advised to move pension cash overseas in case of ‘nationalisation under Corbyn government’

Posted On: 
5th December 2017

Labour-led Camden council has been advised to move pension fund cash overseas because of the ‘political risk’ posed by a potential Jeremy Corbyn government.

Jeremy Corbyn set out plans to nationalise swathes of British industry in Labour's 2017 election manifesto
Credit: 
PA

Fund management group London CIV suggested moving money out of UK infrastructure investments in case of a programme of renationalisation.

Mr Corbyn set out his vision to renationalise the rail, water and energy industries, among others, in Labour’s 2017 election manifesto.

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Despite suggestions that the programme could cost billions, the shadow chancellor has recently insisted it would be done at no cost to the taxpayer.

London CIV, which is chaired by former head of the civil service Bob Kerslake, warned in documents published online that “a potential future change of government” could lead to a “sharp repricing of assets due to concerns over renationalisation”.

The report added that it would be ‘imprudent’ to expose pension funds to entirely UK-focused investments and suggested moving some cash overseas to mitigate against the ‘political risk’ of a potential Labour government.

However, Lord Kerslake insisted the recommendations did not amount to predication of a change of government.

He told The Times: “This was simply a misunderstanding. We do not have that as a position. We are simply not taking a view on a change of government or the current government being re-elected.”

A spokesman for London CIV said: “London CIV is responsible for investing significant sums on behalf of the boroughs and therefore has a duty to consider all potential risks.

“In carrying out this duty, we are in discussions with all boroughs as to consider all risks which might potentially impact on infrastructure.

“These discussions are ongoing and the London CIV is continuing to debate with its members the shape of its infrastructure strategy. No decisions on this strategy have been made.”

Camden Council added: “Viewing other organisations’ reports in no way reflects either our endorsement of or our opposition to any political party’s policies and no decisions were made at the meeting, or subsequently, regarding changes to our future infrastructure investment.”