REYKJAVIK, March 2 (Reuters) - Iceland said on Wednesday it had revised up its estimate of the value of the assets of failed bank Landsbanki, a casualty of the 2008 financial crisis, so that it now had some $1.4 billion more with which to pay off debts to creditors.
Britain and the Netherlands spent billions of pounds and euros to compensate savers who lost money in so-called 'Icesave' accounts operated by Landsbanki, and both countries have been pressing Iceland to get money back. . .
The Icelandic crown is not traded freely due to strict capital controls, but according to the central bank's latest crown value, 160 billion crowns is worth $1.4 billion.
Opinion polls show Icelanders will approve the new deal.
A resolution to the Icesave dispute is seen as important for the country's recovery and eventual financial rehabilitation. London South East website. 02-Mar-11.
After the New York court handling the complaint filed by Glitnir Bank’s winding-up committee against seven individuals and PricewaterhouseCoopers had dismissed the case December 2010, the same court now changes mood, nodding to conduct another hearing of both sides.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has been implicated in the overstatements of Glitnir’s financials during the lead up to its collapse, along with Landsbanki, hiding the ailing financial position of the banks from investors. InAudit, Switzerland website. 24-Feb-11.
Decision to let banks go under looks smarter by the day, in contrast to Ireland's costly bailout . .On his second day as head of Iceland's third-largest bank, Arni Tomasson faced a crisis: the firm that regulators had asked him to run was out of cash.
It was October 8, 2008, at the height of the global financial meltdown and Iceland's bank assets in Britain had been frozen. Customers flocked to branches of Tomasson's Glitnir Banki to withdraw money, even though the Government had guaranteed their deposits. By the end of the day, the vaults were empty, says Tomasson, recalling the drama.
The only way Glitnir and other lenders could avoid a panic the next morning was to get more cash, which they were having trouble doing. A container of crisp kronur sat on the tarmac at Reykjavik's airport awaiting payment.
The British company that printed the bills, De La Rue, was demanding sterling, and the central bank couldn't access its British account. . .
"Iceland did the right thing by making sure its payment systems continued to function while creditors, not the taxpayers, shouldered the losses of banks," says Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University in New York. "Ireland's done all the wrong things, on the other hand. That's probably the worst model." nzherald website. 21-Feb-11.
Iceland's lawmakers have approved another deal to repay 4 Billion Euros the UK and the Netherlands for the collapse of the Icesave Bank almost two years ago by a 44-16 margin with three abstentions. However, the big question is will President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson sign it?
So far the President has not said whether he would sign the bill or not. But according to recent statements he believes this deal is better than the one he vetoed last time. The money is owed to the British and the Dutch governments for having to reimburse almost half a million citizens following the collapse of Icesave and its parent company Landsbanki in 2008. . .
The Icelandic Government believes the total cost to the taxpayers would be much less than the 4 Billion Euros as most of the repayment would come from selling off the assets of Landsbanki. eGovmonitor website. 16-Feb-11.
The Royal Court has granted the application for the compulsory winding up of the company and has agreed to the appointment of the former Joint Administrators (“JAs”) as Joint Liquidators (JLs”). Messrs Richard Garrard and Lee Manning have been duly sworn in as JLs.
The GFSC had no objection to the JAs applying to the Royal Court to put LGL into liquidation and said so in Court. This is a natural progression since the administration process had substantially run its course and the JAs were in the last phase of the recovery of LGL’s assets, principally the remaining property development loans. IFCfeed website. 08-Dec-10.
Deloitte, the joint administrators of Landsbanki Guernsey, will apply to a Guernsey court next month to allow the failed Icelandic bank subsidiary to be placed into liquidation, according to a statement on the Deloitte website. . .
The report that Deloitte is expecting to seek to liquidate Landsbanki Guernsey comes a day after news that the UK government had rejected a petition by the depositors’ group for compensation, on the grounds that Landsbanki Guernsey was "not a subsidiary of a UK bank, but of an Icelandic company". . .
In its statement, Deloitte said the joint administrators had "notified creditors of their intention, subject to court approval, to place the bank into liquidation, and to make a further distribution to creditors of up to 7.5p in the pound". . .
“This is the day that many local pensioners who deposited their life savings in the Cheshire Building Society – which was taken over by the Icelandic bank – or into the 'Guernsey Icesave' – have been fearing for the last two years,” said Neil Dickens, chairman of the local chapter of the LGDAG.
“My assumption is that we’re looking at the bottom range of 85p in the pound, because for the first time, they’re saying that the range could be outside the range of 85p to 91p in the pound," . . .
Dickens said the Guernsey Landsbanki depositors were dismayed to find that their hopes of receiving even as modest a payment as 90p in the pound increasingly seemed unlikely to be realised.
"What we want to know is, why we are not being made whole, like every other person who deposited in Icesave was," Dickens said. By Helen Burggraf, International Adviser website, 16-Nov-10.
Iceland's former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde defended his role in the 2008 implosion of the island's financial system after a parliamentary committee recommended he be indicted for "violations" of his duties. . .
The committee of nine lawmakers was appointed in April after a separate commission investigating the causes of the 2008 crisis found that the government, central bank and financial regulator had all been "negligent" in their failure to address some of the factors that exacerbated the collapse. . .
A special prosecutor appointed to investigate the banking collapse is still probing the three lender' records. Three Kaupthing executives were arrested in May and released after spending as long as 12 days in solitary confinement. . .
The committee also found that Haarde should be indicted because he failed to ensure that Landsbanki created a U.K. subsidiary when selling its Internet Icesave accounts there -- a measure that would have forced the British government to cover depositor claims, it said. Bloomberg Buisness Week
Mon, 13 Sep 2010 article reprinted on Sott.net [Quantum Future Group, ISA] website - 18-Sep-10.
Some depositors whose savings were trapped when Guernsey's Landsbanki bank collapsed, and who last week were told they must go to court in Iceland if they wish to continue their quest to reclaim all of their money, are vowing to fight on.
“We have said right from the beginning that we are after 100% of our money back,” Gary Blanchford, deputy chairman of the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors' Action Group (LGDAG), said in an interview with the BBC, in which he also criticised the Guernsey government for failing to ensure that their depositors were treated on an equal footing with those in the UK and the Netherlands. International Adviser website 18-Aug-10.
It’s as if Icesave has completely evaporated from the agenda in the three countries involved – Iceland, the UK and the Netherlands – but the accounts haven’t yet be settled. Iceland still owes money to the UK and the Netherlands as the two countries compensated the deposit holders according the EU insurance guarantee regulation.
The IMF has recently passed fund’s programme on Iceland to the next level. The prerequisite had been to solve the Icesave dispute – since it is a major economic variable – but Iceland found a way to satisfy the fund’s demand though nothing has been resolved. As so often, Iceland seems hell-bent on wriggling out of the Icesave fetters rather than solving the matter. It remains to be seen how the matter evolves now that there is a new government in place in the UK. Sigrúm Davidsdóttir's Icelog Blog - 19-May-19.
A DAMNING account of Iceland’s failure to protect ordinary depositors – including hundreds of thousands in the UK – who entrusted their savings to online bank Icesave will be published today by a specially convened truth commission, set up in the wake of Iceland’s banking meltdown 18 months ago.
A 2,000-page report into the system-wide financial collapse in October 2008, commissioned by Icelandic MPs, will contain detailed chapters on both the Icesave affair and Iceland’s pitiful depositor guarantee fund. Former ministers and regulators responsible for ensuring deposit guarantees were sufficiently robust are expected to face severe criticism. Guardian Service on Irish Times website - 12-Apr-10.