30-Mar-2016: Liquidators' Update, see Deloitte site

Other Sources

This page contains brief summaries of and links to media reports from the source Other Sources.

British FSA denies claims by former Landsbanki owner about Icesave accounts. What’s the deal?

For those who don’t know,  Icesave was an online bank launched in the UK by Landsbanki, Iceland’s oldest and most established banking institution, in October 2006. . .

. . . When Landsbanki collapsed in October, the Icelandic public was stunned to discover that Icesave was not a subsidiary of Landsbanki in the United Kingdom [as most of us had assumed] but rather a branch of the Icelandic mother company. This meant that the Icelandic Deposit Guarantee Fund was responsible for covering the minimum guaranteed amount in the British accounts – a colossal sum in view of the tiny size of the Icelandic nation . . .

. . . In an interview with now-defunct news magazine Kompás in October, Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, one of the owners of Landsbanki prior to its nationalization  . . . claimed that the British Financial Supervisory Authority had offered to fast-track the Icesave accounts into a British subsidiary the weekend before the Icelandic government nationalized the bank. Obviously this would have been hugely significant for us, the Icelandic people, as it would have meant that we were not saddled with massive debts that we did nothing to incur.  The Iceland Weather Report website - 03-Mar-09.

"Iceland will honor its obligations" Interview with Gylfi Magnusson, Minister for Business Affairs

The Icelandic Government Information Center regarding the current financial circumstances in Iceland

Gylfi Magnússon, Iceland's Minister for Business Affairs, reiterates in an Interview with the German newspaper, die Welt, that the Icelandic Government will honour its legal obligations abroad; the assets of Kaupthing Edge in Germany will almost certainly be sufficient for paying off depositors.

However, from the point of view of Icelandic taxpayers the the problem with the Landbanki accounts in the UK and the Netherlands, is bigger. It seems now inevitable that when all accounts have been settled, some part of the Icelandic debts will be paid by the Icelandic government and then, of course, also by the Icelandic taxpayers.  Icelandic Foreign Service, Ministry for Foreign Affairs website - 25-Feb-09.


Iceland: Time to reconsider national approach?

“The foreign debt of the Icelandic economy and the nation is beyond our power and the prospect is black,” said Haraldur L. Haraldsson, an economist, at a political debate hosted by the Organisation for Civic Action yesterday evening, reported. . . .

. . .At the same time the government should ask for formal discussions with the countries that the banks were operating in and where their debts are.

Furthermore, all the numbers involved have to be on the table. “And I declare that if we enter those discussions well prepared and with a positive attitude, our results will be equally positive. In such discussions it would be put forward that the debts are outside the capacity of our economy. Lastly, it is imperative that this is done through discussions and agreements rather than declarations that will not be paid without any rationale,” said Haraldsson.   18-Feb-09.

$6 billion rescue for Iceland put on hold

ARIS: The $6 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout of Iceland appeared to be on hold Wednesday amid haggling over how the country would compensate overseas customers who lost deposits in failed  Icelandic banks. Top Gold News website - 17-Feb-09.

Isle of Man poised to confirm Icelandic bank compensation

The Isle of Man government will tell a court tomorrow that it will underpin 60p in the pound compensation for all investors in the collapsed Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander IoM bank. . .

. . . "It provides a quicker return, but the really important thing is that the Isle of Man is foregoing the right to reclaim any contribution until the depositors have received 60p in the pound." He said the scheme would not, as depositors had believed, remove any of their legal rights of redress against any party. . .

, , , He concluded: "It compares well with the Landsbanki (Guernsey) situation, where people have received 30p in the pound. I realise this is cold comfort for the depositors, and we are absolutely working as hard as we can to improve the situation for them." The Herald, Glasgow website - 18-Feb-09.

Values by Simon Bain

The Herald's exposure of disinformation by the government on bank regulation was highlighted this week in the Treasury Select Committee's banking crisis inquiry.

It came as MPs heard how British citizens who went abroad to find work - in line with the government's latest mantra of job mobility - and who saved prudently for their retirement are the only Britons to have been abandoned by the government to lose their life savings.

Neil Dickens, of the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors Action Group, who cited our investigation, told MPs that his group had contacted 57 banks, only two of which would allow expatriates to deposit money, and only then if they were present at the time. Asked whether the banks were misinterpreting money laundering legislation, Dickens said that British citizens living in the Crown dependencies already faced rigorous investigations before they could open an offshore account with the same banks.The Glasgow Herald website - 07-Feb-09.


New government of Iceland moves to change central bank leadership

Reykjavik - True to its word, the new Icelandic government has called for the three central bank governors to step down, Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said.

Speaking on a talk show on Icelandic television Monday evening, Sigurdadottir who took office Sunday, said she had sent a letter to the governors asking them to resign. m&c Business website - 03-Feb-09.

Icelandic cabinet collapse could stall Landsbanki resolution

Landsbanki depositors may face even longer delays getting their money from the collapsed bank after the fall of Iceland's coalition government.

Prime Minister Geir Haarde resigned with his cabinet following failed talks with his Social Democratic collation partners. He refused to bow to the Social Democrats’ demand to lead the crippled country.International Investment website - 27-Jan-09.

Treasury Committee launches probe into overseas deposit protection

The Treasury Select Committee has launched an investigation into the protection of UK savers investing in non-UK jurisdictions, in a bid to identify lessons learnt from the banking crisis. . . .

. . . A host of experts will give evidence including members of AIFA, the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositor’s Action Group and KSFIOM Action Group. International Investment website - 22-Jan-09.

Iceland: a Metaphor for the Crisis

. . .The toll is going to be extensive and the UK Government will probably have to find well over $US7 billion to bailout individuals, companies, charities, local and regional government bodies who had billions of dollars invested in the two main banking arms of Iceland’s two biggest banks, Icesave (owned by the tottering Landsbanki) and Kaupthing Edge. These were mainly online banking operations run out of Iceland which harvested deposits in the UK.

UK reports said the Government expected Iceland’s depositor compensation scheme to cover about £2.2 billion of the £4.6 billion owed to about 300,000 Landsbanki depositors, with £1.4 billion coming from the UK industry financial services compensation scheme and the remainder from the government. That of course presupposes that Iceland has the money to meet the cost of the guarantees. . . .  Australasian Investment Review (AIR) reprinted on Real Estate Resources website - 19-Jan-09.


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