One of your recent letters (aj 13.4.00) raised some queries about the history and current state of riba reserves.
As a charity, we publish our accounts annually, and are about to do so for 1999. Reserves fell to an all-time low in 1994, being £1,201,000 'in the red'. It has been a long hard battle to reach our present relatively satisfactory position.
Our reserves policy is clearly set out in our booklet Meeting the Challenge and is to build up a reserve of £1 million, representing about three months' net spending. At the end of 1998, reserves stood at £206,000. Reserves were defined as net current assets. However, we are revising this definition to net assets, less restricted funds, less fixed assets, plus liquid investments. I hope your readers will be suitably reassured.
Colin James, RIBA honorary treasurer