info.LandsbankiAction.org.gg   30-Mar-2016: Liquidators' Update, see Deloitte site

Press Release, 5-Nov-08

Landsbanki Guernsey depositors say Darling must act now

The Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors Actions Group (LGDAG) has today welcomed Alistair Darling's statement Tuesday that he would think 'long and hard' about the best way to support savers with Landsbanki Guernsey.

But the Group urges the Chancellor to act now to support devastated savers, the vast majority of whom are British citizens and residents of the British Isles, who have unwittingly lost money through the collapse of the bank.

We are seeking an urgent meeting with the Chancellor to explain the distress and hardship faced by depositors, and to discuss options to secure the return of funds to depositors. We are confident that better compensation can be secured without necessarily costing the UK taxpayer a penny.

At present there is no statutory protection scheme in Guernsey, and the administrators of the bank have told depositors that there are only sufficient funds to pay 30p for every £1 saved. This is devastating news for depositors, many of whom are pensioners and stand to lose most of their life savings.

Members of the LGDAG are not millionaire businessmen using offshore accounts to reduce tax bills or gain higher interest rates. The majority who saved in Landsbanki Guernsey did so because they were living abroad and British banks no longer accept customers without a current UK address.

Many simply invested the proceeds from the sale of their home when moving overseas, often on retirement, and have been using the interest this generated to pay a modest pension. The overwhelming majority of these depositors are British citizens. Two thirds of them live in the British Isles.

The depositors, who have become unwitting victims of the Icelandic banking collapse, are dismayed at the apparent apathy of the British and Guernsey Governments to date, particularly since it seems that the authorities were aware of the impending problems some months ago.

We are urging the British and Guernsey Governments to act to support depositors. The LGDAG has a number of proposed solutions to ensure the safe return of funds, and we would like to meet the two Governments as a matter of urgency to discuss these proposals. We also want to know whether £36m which was transferred from Lansdbanki Guernsey around the time it went into administration to its UK-based sister bank Heritable can be returned to help pay depositors who face an uncertain future.

Matthew Dorman, spokesman for the campaign, said:

"The Government has repeatedly said that 'all British depositors' money is safe,' seemingly forgetting that Guernsey residents and UK expatriates are British too. The depositors of Landsbanki Guernsey believe the British Government has a moral imperative to act to protect its citizens and ensure all citizens are treated equally".

"We are seeking an urgent meeting with Government to discuss this critical issue. We are not asking for British taxpayers to bail us out. We have proposals which could secure the return of our savings which would not necessarily cost the British taxpayer a penny. We are simply asking the British Government to support British citizens and to fulfill its constitutional obligation to act on behalf of Guernsey on international issues."

Notes to editors

1. The LGDAG has been established to secure the return of 100 percent of depositors' money, which was lost following Landsbanki Guernsey being taken in administration.

2. Landsbanki Guernsey went into administration on 6th October 2008

3. The Administrators of the bank agreed to recompense 30p in the £1 and the 2,033 depositors of Landsbanki Guernsey therefore stand to lose over 70% of their savings.

4. £36m of Landsbanki Guernsey funds were locked up in the UK-based sister bank Heritable. £12m was also upstreamed to the banks' parent company Landsbanki Islands.

5. The Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors Action Group is a united list of depositors, acting as one voice to be heard by the appropriate authorities in Guernsey, the United Kingdom and Iceland. The group will ensure that deposits are returned in full. Landsbanki Guernsey (Action For Depositors) Ltd is a limited company registered at Companies House, set up to represent the interests of all 2,033 depositors, in the return of their deposits in full.

6. For further information and depositors' stories, please visit http://info.landsbankiaction.org.gg/

For interviews and comment from LGDAG, please contact Katherine Morgan at Mandate Communications on 020 3128 8139.

[ Click here for a PDF copy of the release ]