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UK News

This page contains brief summaries of and links to media reports on the topic of UK News.

SFO to investigate possible criminal intentions in Iceland's collapsed banks

The Serious Fraud Office is sending a team of investigators to Iceland to help "get to the bottom" of whether there were any criminal intentions in the country's collapsed banks, which had extensive links with London. . .

The SFO also met yesterday with Eva Joly, a French corruption expert and judge brought in as a consultant to the Icelandic government, who believes that the criminal investigation is likely to be the biggest Europe has ever known. More than 30 house searches have been conducted in Iceland and 60 people hauled in for questioning.

But Ms Joly said the FSA and other British authorities must also bear some shared blame for failure to regulate the Icelandic banks properly.

"The UK in my opinion has a responsibility for not controlling Icelandic banks, like Icesave, that were operating here," she said. "They were given some warnings about the banks and they did not do anything. This to my mind has been very harmful."  11-Sep-09.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/6176193/SFO-to-investigate-possible-criminal-intentions-in-Icelands-collapsed-banks.html

Special Prosecutor and Eva Joly Meet With SFO

The Special Prosecutor responsible for investigating the banking collapse in Iceland, and his advisor Eva Joly, along with two other officials, are now in London for a meeting with Richard Alderman, director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Mbl.is reports this today.

The meeting’s purpose is the establishment of mutual assistance in the investigation of economic fraud. The SFO had the initiative for the collaboration.

The Serious Fraud Office is an independent British government institution, specializing in the investigation of major economic crimes, where tens of millions of British Pounds are at stake.

The institution has been following three Icelandic banks, Landsbanki, Kaupthing and Glitnir, since their collapse a year ago. They all ran  operations in Britain.   11-Sep-09.

http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/?cat_id=21123&ew_0_a_id=339874

SFO goes to Iceland to investigate banking collapse

The Serious Fraud Office is to meet with Icelandic investigators next month to discover whether there was any criminal wrongdoing in the collapse of Iceland's banking sector last year.

According to Financial Adviser's sister paper, the Financial Times, Richard Alderman, director of the SFO, is set to hold talks in London with Eva Joly, the French anti-corruption expert has been hired to assist the Icelandic investigation. . .

Zac Ghadially, associate financial adviser of London-based IFA Yellowtail Financial Planning, said: "The Serious Fraud Office does not have a great track record of doing anything so I am not sure what it will achieve in this investigation."  FT Adviser website - 20-Aug-09.

http://www.ftadviser.com/FinancialAdviser/Regulation/Regulators/News/article/20090820/5c7ee4ee-8b1d-11de-b346-0015171400aa/SFO-goes-to-Iceland-to-investigate-banking-collapse.jsp

FSA needs a shred more than hand wringing over Iceland's banking implosion

Sir Fred Goodwin is hardly beloved of the British public. But imagine just for a second how we would feel if the former RBS boss had been dishing out loans of £1bn plus to himself, his mates and their companies. People might want to chop off more than his pension.

Now picture a fictional scenario where there were senior staff at RBS, with very little prior experience in banking, who had been throwing around interest-free loans to related parties to buy shares in the bank itself that were written off when it collapsed. What if the Government was unable to bail it out, triggering defaults that spanned across the globe? Then there might be rumours swirling round about HBOS, Bradford and Bingley and Northern Rock, sparking fears that the whole British banking system was based on hot air and money plucked out of nowhere.  Rowena  Mason Blog - Telegraph Blogs - 18-Aug-09.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/rowenamason/100000616/fsa-needs-a-shred-more-than-hand-wringing-over-icelands-banking-implosion/

Iceland: what ugly secrets are waiting to be exposed in the meltdown?

Almost a year since the collapse of the Icelandic banks, the rotten nature of these financial corpses is slowly beginning to emerge.

It has now become clear that this was no ordinary crash. . . . Eva Joly, the French-Norwegian MEP and fraud expert hired by Iceland and now working with the [UK] Serious Fraud Office, now believes it will be "the largest investigation in history of an economic and banking bank collapse". . . .

But among the worst affected by the crisis are 10,000 savers with £840m tied up in Kaupthing in the Isle of Man and 2,000 savers with £117m in Landsbanki in Guernsey. All lost their entire savings with no compensation and are still waiting in line with a queue of commercial creditors.  15-Aug-09.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/6034654/Iceland-what-ugly-secrets-are-waiting-to-be-exposed-in-the-meltdown.html

Gordon Brown is wrong, Britain played a part in Icelandic bank collapse

Iceland, a small nation with just 320,000 inhabitants, is reeling under the weight of billions of euros of debt, which has absolutely nothing to do with the vast majority of its population and which it cannot afford to pay . . .

But British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is wrong when he says that he and his government have no responsibility in the matter. First, he has a moral responsibility, having been one of the main proponents of this model which we can now see has gone up the spout. Second, he cannot say that the UK had neither the means nor the legitimacy to supervise Icesave's activities. By Eva Joly on the Telegraph Mobile website, 15-Aug-09.

http://m.telegraph.co.uk/article/5961143/

 

SFO intensifies Icelandic banking inquiry after Kaupthing leak

The Serious Fraud Office is gathering extensive intelligence on the Icelandic banks in the aftermath of last autumn's crash that left thousands of UK institutions nursing millions of pounds of losses.

The SFO's team has intensified its inquiries following the leak of Kaupthing's loan book on to an internet site, Wikileaks.org, over the weekend, according to sources,

A team is understood to be examining the document connected to the failed Icelandic bank, which had a large UK client base. It has also received information relating to the UK operations of the Icelandic banks, apparently from a number of whistleblowers ranging from employees to investors and depositors . .

Although it has not launched a formal criminal investigation, a team from the SFO is known to have been looking closely at Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki for a number of months, following their collapse in October last year.  04-Aug-09.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5973630/SFO-intensifies-Icelandic-banking-inquiry-after-Kaupthing-leak.html

No meeting on our case - Landsbanki savers

NO ONE from the States met their UK counterparts to discuss the collapse of Landsbanki Guernsey between September and March, a Freedom of Information Act request has revealed. . .

It was also confirmed that no meetings have taken place between the Ministry of Justice and HM Treasury regarding Landsbanki Guernsey.

The group say the lack of meetings calls into question Chief Minister Lyndon Trott’s claim that work to help retrieve savings has been going on ‘behind the scenes’.  29-Jul-09.

http://www.thisisguernsey.com/2009/07/29/no-meeting-on-our-case-landsbanki-savers/

Offshore Tax Havens Innocent in Global Financial Crisis

Many of us are still wondering where the current global financial crisis began; did it begin because of weak regulatory practice onshore in London, was it as a result of greedy bankers in New York, or were offshore tax havens like the Isle of Man perhaps to blame for allowing wealthy individuals to shield their wealth from taxation?

Well, a review into what exactly caused the economic breakdown that is affecting the world at the moment was commissioned and has been completed by Lord Turner, who’s the UK’s Chairman of the Financial Services Authority.  He has looked right into the heart of the issue to determine how we have ended up in this mess, and how we can protect ourselves from ever falling foul of such a crisis again.

And the good news is, (if there is any at all!), that offshore tax havens are actually innocent in terms of the global financial crisis.  . .

Therefore, those who continue to muck rake and slate offshore tax havens for corrupting economies of the world and for causing great disharmony economically speaking, clearly do not have a leg to stand on!   Shelter Offshore website - 14-Jul-09.

http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/offshore/more/offshore-tax-havens-innocent-financial-crisis-10518/

 

 

Letters reveal UK's battles with Iceland over bank crisis

The UK Treasury acted with "significant flaws in its rationale" over its handling of the Icesave banking crisis and Iceland was "opaque", "contradictory" and "failing to co-operate adequately" with the British Government.

These are just some of the accusations in a series of 69 confidential letters and briefing notes held by the Icelandic government on its explosive conflict with Britain over the collapse of the Landsbanki, Kaupthing and Glitnir basks.[sic] . . .

The dispute centres on whether the Icelandic government was legally allowed to prioritise compensation for domestic savers over foreign customers of the failed banks.  11-Jul-09.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5804421/Letters-reveal-UKs-battles-with-Iceland-over-bank-crisis.html

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