The Local Government Association considered the establishment of an agency to reduce the cost of councils’ debt financing at some length. An outline business case was prepared in 2011-12 and following a brief review in October 2013 the decision was taken to update the business case. This was published as the Revised Business Case in March 2014 and led to the establishment of what was to become the UK Municipal Bonds Agency plc.
The Revised Business Case set out a clear rationale for the establishment of a bonds agency, noting there was ample evidence from Scandinavia, Japan and New Zealand that a bonds agency would deliver ample benefits to local authorities, not least reduced borrowing costs. Most importantly, the Revised Business Case established a clear justification for a bonds agency on public interest grounds, primarily that it would:
The key benefits for local authorities set out in the Revised Business Case were:
A copy can be downloaded here.
In 2019, the guarantee arrangements set out in the Revised Business Case were amended so that the liability of local authorities borrowing through the UK Municipal Bonds Agency’s pooled loan programme would be proportional to their borrowings rather than joint and several.
The UK Municipal Bonds Agency believes that the rationale for its creation has been validated.
On 5 March 2020, the UK Municipal Bonds Agency issued its innaugural £350 million bond on behalf of Lancashire County Council. The bond was a 5-year floating rate note, priced at 0.8 per cent over SONIA. This pricing was significantly better than could be obtained from the PWLB, thereby demonstrating that the UK Municipal Bonds Agency can deliver significant savings for local government, validating the key assumption that led to its creation. The interest rate was 0.81 per cent below the PWLB 3-month variable rate on the day and 1.08 per cent lower than the 5-year maturity rate.
Other developments in the recent past have proven the public interest case:
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You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to us at UK Municipal Bond Agency Plc, 5 – 8 The Sanctuary, London SW1P 3JS
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This website was based on a design by Themes and Co
Photographs on the front slider
“Construction” by Alex Liivet
“New Birmingham Library under construction” by Tony Hisgett
Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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