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

Press Release 28-Nov-08

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 28 NOVEMBER 2008


LANDSBANKI GUERNSEY DEPOSITORS SAY ‘IT’S TIME TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT’

It’s time to set the record straight regarding the depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey. Depositors are furious following the Treasury’s repeated assertions that they are tax dodgers.

The Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors Action Group (LGDAG), which represents the 2033 depositors in the Icelandic bank, are increasingly angered by Alistair Darling’s assertion that the UK Crown Dependencies are ‘tax havens’ and failing to contribute to the UK Exchequer. The LGDAG has been seeking a meeting with Treasury representatives since the collapse of Landsbanki Guernsey last month. However, rather than engaging in productive and proactive discussions with depositors, the Treasury has been content to score political points whilst savers in Landsbanki Guernsey suffer.

The LGDAG estimate that 35% of depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey are British citizens from Jersey and Guernsey. An estimated further 49% of depositors are British nationals who opted to save with Landsbanki Guernsey as the majority of UK high street banks will not allow a non-UK resident to open a savings account. Furthermore, a number of these savers originally opened accounts with the Cheshire Building Society in Guernsey which was subsequently bought by Landsbanki in 2006 and had no option to switch banks until their account matured.

Depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey are not rich millionaires. The LGDAG estimate that 60% of savers had between £10,000 and £100,000, while only 2% deposited more than £500,000. In order to dispel the falsehoods surrounding the position of depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey, the LGDAG would like to make the following points to the Treasury:

• The savings in Landsbanki Guernsey belong to hard working responsible people many of whom are British citizens not millionaire tax evaders

• A significant majority of depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey are pensioners facing the loss of their life savings

• The Landsbanki savers are in fact contributing to the UK Exchequer through the provisions enforced through the European Union Savings Directive

• The Treasury has stated there is no legal bar that would prevent a non-UK resident from opening a new bank account. However, in practice, due to strict anti-money laundering legislation, most UK high street banks will simply not allow a non-UK resident to open a new savings account, unless the account holder has a UK address

Spokesperson for the LGDAG, Matthew Dorman, said:

“The Treasury is cultivating a myth about the crown dependencies as a tax haven for millionaires. This is simply not true. The vast majority of depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey are normal people, with modest savings. We are furious that the Treasury relies on assumptions and stereotypes without properly dealing with the issue.

The UK Government has a constitutional obligation to represent Guernsey in international diplomatic situations but rather than fulfilling these obligations, the Government is content to score political points while savers in Landsbanki Guernsey suffer.

The Government of Guernsey, the Icelandic Ambassador to the United Kingdom and a number of MPs have already met with the LGDAG to discuss potential solutions to the situation. However, our calls to meet with Treasury continue to fall on deaf ears. The contempt shown by the Treasury to depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey is incredibly frustrating and depositors have every right to feel angry.”

ENDS

Notes to editors
• The LDAG 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.

• The Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors Action Group has been established to secure the return of 100 percent of depositors money, which was lost following Landsbanki Guernsey being taken in administration.

• Landsbanki Guernsey went into administration on 6 October 2008

• 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.

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

For interviews and comment from LGDAG, please contact Nick Carter at Mandate Communications on 020 3128 8109.
 

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