HC Deb 02 December 2003 vol 415 c351
1. Keith Vaz (Leicester, East) (Lab)

What discussions he has had with the First Minister concerning compensation for the victims in Scotland of BCCI. [140743]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mrs. Anne McGuire)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no recent discussions with the First Minister on this subject.

Keith Vaz

As my hon. Friend will know, when BCCI closed on 5 July 1991, many people in Scotland and a number of local authorities, such as the Western Isles, were affected. At the time, they were told that no money was left in the bank. Twelve years later, 70 per cent. of that money has now been repaid to those individuals and local authorities; therefore, 30 per cent. is still left. Will she meet the First Minister and press upon him and other members of the Government the need to draw that sorry state of affairs to a close? After so many years, is it not time that all the money was now paid out?

Mrs. McGuire

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. I assume that he wants me to meet the Chief Secretary, rather than the First Minister, because this is a matter for the United Kingdom Government. I understand that Western Isles council has recovered all but a relatively small sum of what it lost in 1991, as a result of the dividends paid by BCCI's liquidators. The whole issue is now a matter for the liquidators. Having said that, I will of course raise the issue with the Chief Secretary in the light of my hon. Friend's question this morning.

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