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

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[KSF IOM] Depositors to give evidence

An investigation into the collapse of Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander is to hear from representatives of the depositors.

The Tynwald Select Committee will take evidence from Dr Angela Downs of the KSFIOM Depositors' Action Group and and Stephen Thomas, who represents another group, at a specially convened meeting.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the session, at the legislative buildings in Douglas, from 2.30pm on Wednesday (February 24). 23-Feb-10.

Iceland's bank debt is 'bilateral issue', EU commission says

Brussels - Repayment of money spent by the Dutch and the British governments to rescue savers caught out by the Icelandic banking collapse is a "bilateral" matter between the countries concerned, the European commissioner for enlargement said Wednesday. Stefan Fuele was defending the European Commission's decision to give a positive opinion on the start of EU-Iceland accession talks before the issue is resolved.

"While the commission is following closely talks between Iceland on one side and (Britain) and the Netherlands on the other side, it is of the opinion that this is a bilateral issue that has no implication on the opinion," he said. Iceland rejected Monday a Dutch and British a new proposal to repay 5.4 billion dollars lost by investors when Icesave bank, an arm of the Landsbanki lender collapsed in the autumn of 2008. Earth Times website - 24-Feb-10.,extra-icelands-bank-debt-is-bilateral-issue-eu-commission-says.html

New Icesave offer “not acceptable”

The leaders of Iceland’s political parties have decided to politely request further talks with the British and Dutch authorities over Icesave.

The meeting between Icelandic government and opposition party leaders has just finished where it was decided that no counter offer will be sent to this weekend’s Icesave repayment proposal from the British and Dutch governments. Instead, the party leaders have decided to send a courteous response to London and The Hague requesting a further trilateral meeting of the three nations’ negotiating teams.

Both the government parties and the opposition parties agreed at the meeting that the new offer is not acceptable. It still needs amendments.  22-Feb-10.

Thinking the unthinkable

The unthinkable had happened on both sides of the Atlantic. One of Wall Street’s biggest banks had been allowed to fail and, in Britain, the Treasury had nationalised Bradford & Bingley to prevent a run across the financial sector.

Against this backdrop, Alistair Darling and his Treasury officials were desperate to identify which bank might fail next. And so tiny Iceland became the new focus of the Chancellor, the Bank of England and an array of civil servants in Whitehall.

At stake was £3 billion of British investors’ money that had been sunk into the overheated and teetering Icelandic economy. Far from an esoteric investment target of City professionals, Mr Darling was faced with the prospect of local authority pension funds, charities and NHS retirement schemes bearing substantial losses. . .

Only weeks ago, Paul Tucker, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, pointed out to MPs the utmost importance of having a state-funded deposit guarantee scheme that paid out within weeks of a lender’s failure.  19-Feb-10.

Icelandic bailout exposed rift at the Treasury

'Sir Nicholas Macpherson appears to have put his opposition to a loan for Iceland on record in a letter to the Chancellor'

Lehman Brothers had collapsed three weeks earlier, but as the world banking system teetered on the brink of collapse, Alistair Darling and his chief civil servant were engaging in a heated dispute about whether to bail out an Icelandic savings bank.

Letters obtained by the Liberal Democrats and shown to The Times offer extraordinary details of the battle between the Chancellor and Sir Nicholas Macpherson, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, over using taxpayer money to extend a £3 billion loan to Iceland in October 2008.

While Sir Nicholas expressed his deep concerns about underwriting the deposits of Icesave, Landsbanki’s online savings business, and warned that Britain might not be repaid, Mr Darling overruled both the civil servant and the Bank of England, ordering the Government to extend a multibillion-pound loan to Reykjavik. 19-Feb-10.

As Iceland resists paying our billions, let’s not forget just who is to blame

Icelandic bankers and British ‘rate tarts’ caused the Icesave folly, yet the two nations’ taxpayers will be footing the bill.

Iceland was a nation that took huge pride in the fact its government used to owe nothing. The phrases “net debt-free” and “debtless” would pepper the briefings of its senior financial officials before the crisis. But then came the crazed ingenuity of Iceland’s bankers in funding themselves through thrifty British and Dutch internet savers, rather than sophisticated international financiers. And so from the likes of Icesave arose a giant Icedebt. . .

The path to this point was novel but predictable. The causes of the crisis have lessons that should be heeded well beyond this northern Atlantic rock. Business and Marketing News, Funds, Finance and Stock Market website - 18-Feb-10.


Icesave talks to start in London on Monday -sources

Iceland will meet Britain and the Netherlands in London on Monday to present a new proposal for repaying more than $5 billion (3.2 billion pounds) lost in Icelandic bank accounts, sources familiar with the plans said. . .

A Icelandic government source has said the new proposal involves quicker repayment of the country's debt from a sale of the assets of failed bank Landsbanki.

A spokesman at Iceland's finance ministry said the government hoped to present the new proposal "very soon."

One creditor nation source said he "could not rule out" that the talks would stretch more than one day.

The source also said the talks were not likely to be at the highest levels, particularly as European Union finance ministers are meeting early this week to focus on the public debt crisis in Greece.  IBTimes website - 15-Feb-10.

Icesave talks to resume on Monday: Iceland minister

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Iceland is set to resume talks Monday with Britain and the Netherlands on repaying more than $5 billion lost when Icelandic banks collapsed in 2008, Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson said Sunday. . .

A new negotiating team would leave Reykjavik to attend exploratory meetings Monday, Sigfusson told state radio, without saying whether the talks would take place in Britain or the Netherlands. . .

Reykjavik plans to make a new proposal which a government source said involves quicker repayment of the debt with a sale of the assets of failed bank Landsbanki. 14-Feb-10.

Treasury awaits results of probe into Icesave's past

The UK Treasury has stood by its position on the collapse of Icesave, as the head of the Dutch central bank accused the Icelandic government of misleading it about its financial system. . .

Mr Wellink told a parliamentary committee in the Netherlands that he had been given false assurances by Icelandic government officials and regulators about the safety of the banks.

Matt Patterson, spokesman for the UK Treasury, declined to comment on Mr Wellink's remarks but said all three parties were trying to reach an agreement on the issue. . .

Gylfi Magnusson, minister of economic affairs for Iceland, said in a statement: "We take such allegations very seriously.

"One of the tasks before us is to understand whether false or misleading information was presented by the Icelandic banks, regulators and government officials to foreign regulatory agencies in the months leading up to the collapse of the banking system in October 2008."  FT Adviser website 11-Feb-10.

Who lied?

There is much talk in the Icelandic media these days over remarks made last week by two high ranking Dutch officials during a hearing by an investigative committee. One is the head of the Dutch National Bank [their central bank], and the other an official with the Dutch Financial Supervisory Authority. . . .

Evidently few people in Iceland seem to doubt that their claims are true. However, there has been much speculation over just who lied. Initially, it was to have been the head of the Central Bank here in Iceland [presumably Davíð Oddsson], then there were reports that it had been the heads of the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority. No one seems to know exactly who was responsible for conveying the misleading information.

Predictably, Oddsson went on the offensive trying to convince everyone that it wasn’t him – hauling out the old chestnut about how he tried to warn everyone in government about what was imminent months before the  collapse but nobody listened. Unfortunately, as pointed out in a Fréttablaðið editorial a couple of days ago, there is no documented evidence that Oddsson’s claims are true.  Iceland Weather Report website - 08-Feb-10.

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