UK Treasury chief set to pay off World War I bonds

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LONDON (AP) — Britain is repaying some of the 2 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) it still owes investors who helped finance World War I.

As Europe marks the centenary of the war, Treasury chief George Osborne said Friday the government plans to redeem some National War Bonds issued in 1917 when it refinances 218 million pounds of debt issued as far back as the 18th century.

The debts were consolidated in 1927 into a single bond paying 4 percent annual interest.

The bond has no maturity date, so Treasury wasn't required to repay the principle as long as it made regular interest payments. Britain has paid 1.26 billion pounds in interest since the bonds were first issued by then-Chancellor Winston Churchill.

Britain's Treasury says the debt is an illustration of the war's legacy.