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Westminster Council spends thousands on accountants over £17m Icelandic bank loss

PUBLISHED: 11:24 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 07 September 2010

FINANCE bosses have forked out £37,000 for top accountants to tell them what went wrong when the council lost £17million in failed Icelandic banks. Westminster taxpayers are footing the bill for top firm KPMG to analyse the mistakes made in the failed inv

FINANCE bosses have forked out £37,000 for top accountants to tell them what went wrong when the council lost £17million in failed Icelandic banks.

Westminster taxpayers are footing the bill for top firm KPMG to analyse the mistakes made in the failed investment.

The accountants have been hired to review the council's "investment strategy and internal control systems" and to investigate "whether any failures in internal control systems have, or continue to, expose the council to financial loss".

Labour Leader Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said: "The cost of Westminster Conservatives' financial incompetence mounts every day.

"Over a year ago, Labour councillors warned the Conservatives about chasing high interest and advocated a cautious approach with the council's investments.

"Those warnings were ignored and now Westminster Council taxpayers are paying a very high price."

Finance bosses defended the move, saying it would be irresponsible not to have an independent review.

Finance chief Cllr Melvyn Caplan said: "Although we are confident that our investment strategy is firmly in line with government guidelines, the review is the correct response to such an unprecedented economic crisis.

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