Issue - meetings
Treasury Management Strategy: Annual Report and Performance 2018/19
Meeting: 11/09/2019 - Cabinet (Item 58)
The Head of Financial Services has submitted a report whichsets out the Council’s Treasury Management activity and performance for the financial year 2018/2019.
Recommendations: That Cabinet resolves to:
1. Note the report.
The Head of Financial Services had submitted a report whichset out the Council’s Treasury Management activity and performance for the financial year 2018/2019.
Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport introduced the report. In the present political and economic climate, returns on investments were generally low. The overall financial position of the Council was however sound.
Nigel Kennedy, the Head of Financial Services, said that the requirements of all the Prudential Indicators had been met. The majority of the sum invested with the two failed Icelandic banks had been recovered but the outstanding balance was now considered to be irrecoverable and had, therefore, been written off in accounting terms.
Cabinet resolved to:
Note the report.
The report sets out the Council’s Treasury Management activity and performance for the financial year 2018/2019.
Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services, and Anna Winship, Management Accounting Manager, will present and be available to answer any questions.
Cabinet on 11 September 2019 will be recommended to Note the report.
The Panel considered the Treasury Management Strategy: Annual Report and Performance 2018/19.
The Head of Financial Services introduced the report, drawing specific attention to the £96.2 million of investments held by the Council, the fact that interest income from loans of £3.12 million had exceeded targets of £2.91 million, the full impairment of £1.17 million of land values at Barton Park, the size of the Council’s debts to the Public Works Loan Board of £198.5 million and the source of that debt as the buy-out of the Housing Revenue Account in March 2012. The other measures referenced in the report were stated as showing that the Council had no major variances and that the report was in compliance with its legal requirements around reporting.
Noting the significant preference for fixed interest investments the Panel discussed the optimal balance of the Council’s investment portfolio. It was noted that a significant majority of funds were invested in fixed term investments, yielding over 3% less per annum than the Council’s property fund investments. The Head of Financial Services underlined that the order of priority when assessing investment strategy and allocation was security, followed by liquidity, followed by yield. Nevertheless, it would be possible within those guidelines to invest more in non-fixed term investments and that he was exploring with other local Councils in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire the potential for investing in social impact bonds, which fund projects such as solar farms, and which pay a regular coupon as well as the return of capital at the end of a specified period. The level of the Council’s reserves would allow the loss of liquidity arising. Alternatives to social impact bonds were also being explored, including additional investment in new or existing property funds on that basis that these were more, if not totally, liquid than social impact bonds. Use of investment to enhance the local environment was also explored but it was confirmed that the Council would be looking at making investments in property (primarily offices and industrial units) locally within the Budget and that funding to do so would be made through borrowing. This was welcomed on the basis that it would dilute the Council’s retail focus thereby reducing risk.
Councillor Simmons left the meeting at this point.
Regarding borrowing, the Panel sought clarification as to the nature of the external loans referred to on p.19, item 24. It was explained that the loans repaid included loans to the Public Works Loans Board, short-term loans and financing. Further clarifications were sought regarding the nature and working of the Operational Boundary Limit referred to on p.18 item 23. The Boundary Limit was explained to be a self-imposed borrowing limit designed to be a control mechanism to prevent excessive borrowing by requiring Council approval to breach. In light of the changes to the Housing Revenue Account which enables Councils to borrow prudently for housing, the Panel sought information on the theoretical borrowing limit. The Head of Financial Services confirmed that work was already being undertaken ... view the full minutes text for item 28