HC Deb 30 October 2002 vol 391 c848W
Ian Lucas

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, if he will require that, when an award of damages to a minor is invested, the principal sum is guaranteed in the event of a fall in the value of the investment. [77649]

Yvette Cooper

The Court Funds Office (CFO) is the Office of the Accountant General of the Supreme Court. One of the functions of the CFO is to administer funds paid into court on behalf of children when an award of damages is made by the court. The CFO will hold money until the child's 18th birthday unless a Court Order instructs otherwise.

Money is invested in one of two ways: the CFO seeks the advice of its investment service based at the Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee (OSPT), on the investment of money in stocks and certain unit and investment trusts; or the money is placed to the CFO special account that pays a competitive gross rate (before tax) of interest with instant access.

The investment approach to be applied depends upon the investment policy set by the court, the requirements of the fund, the age of the child and the amount of money held. Smaller sums held for shorter periods are placed on deposit and the principal sum will be secure. Larger sums held for longer periods are invested for the long-term usually, with equity exposure. In these cases, no absolute guarantee of capital value can be given.