Libor Fines Fund Nepalese Gurkha Veteran Homes in U.K.

Fines levied on banks for rigging Libor interest rates are helping to build affordable homes in the U.K. for Nepalese Gurkha veterans.

A total of 960,000 pounds ($1.5 million) will be given to Gurkha Homes Ltd. to build 32 new homes for the veterans around the U.K., the Ministry of Defence said Thursday in an e-mailed statement. The money comes from a 40 million-pound fund that’s supported by the Libor fines, it said.

Gurkhas, celebrating 200 years of service in the British Army, weren’t allowed to settle in the U.K. until 2004. Even then, only some were given permission. In 2009, a campaign led by actress Joanna Lumley persuaded the government to allow all veterans who had served at least four years to do so.

Today’s payment comes three months after Jackie Doyle-Price, a Conservative lawmaker, published a report on historic Gurkha grievances concerning their treatment by the U.K.

“The work we’re doing to implement its positive recommendations will set the scene for the next chapter in the U.K.’s close and enduring relationship with the Gurkhas,” Defence Minister Anna Soubry said in the statement. “In turn, they will further cement the strong bonds between the U.K. and Nepal.”

Since 2012, seven firms have paid the British regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, and its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, about 532 million pounds over interest-rate rigging.

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