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

Media Reports

This page contains brief summaries of and links to media reports of relevance. Click on one of the topics or the source below each entry to see only reports on that topic or from that source.  See Selected for the media reports that the site editors have selected as the most important or relevant.

Iceland says Landsbanki assets worth $1.4 billion more

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.

Key players in Iceland bank crash in court as witnesses

It is believed as many as seven people will bear witness today at the Reykjavik District Court in the case against Baldur Gudlaugsson, former permanent secretary at Iceland’s Ministry of Finance.

Jonina S. Larusdottir, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, is at the top of the witness list . . .

It was also expected that Ingimundur Fridriksson, former director of the central bank, and Halldor J. Kristjansson, former director of Landsbanki, would testify today by telephone. The judge decided at the beginning of proceedings this morning that they need to testify in person. They will therefore be called upon at a later date.

Gudlaugsson is accused of insider trading, allegedly having sold all his personal Landsbanki shares shortly after sitting in on a meeting with UK Chancellor Alistair Darling and shortly before the bank’s collapse in the autumn of 2008.  02-Mar-11.

New York Court to Go Over Glitnir Bank Damages

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.

Chief minister links conduct complaint to Landsbanki group

Chief Minister Lyndon Trott has drawn attention to the link between a code of conduct complaint against him and the Landsbanki depositors’ action group.

In an email to States members, he referred to the group’s website on which an article is posted that implies he has misused his position to promote a private finance company.

‘This website is registered to Gary Blanchford, known to many as the spokesperson for the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors’ Action Group,’ said Deputy Trott.

‘I intend to draw this site to the attention of the States Members’ Conduct Panel. ‘In doing so, I am conscious that in the words of the spokesperson for the group there is, apparently, no link between his vexatious complaint against me and other matters,’  24-Feb-11.

Banks just too big to fail? Iceland shows otherwise

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 to Hold Referendum on Law to Repay $5 Billion U.K., Dutch Deposits

Iceland’s President Olafur R. Grimsson refused to sign a $5 billion accord struck in December with the U.K. and Netherlands to repay foreign depositor losses and said the bill must instead be put to a referendum.

Grimsson, whose announcement comes after 44 of parliament’s 63 lawmakers passed the bill, said he was responding to popular demand for a plebiscite after more than 42,000 of Iceland’s 318,000 inhabitants signed a petition asking him to block the accord . . .

It is unclear whether the British and Dutch will be willing to resume talks should the bill be voted down in a referendum, Finance Minister Steingrimur J. Sigfusson told reporters shortly after Grimsson announced his decision. Sigfusson said he plans to contact his counterparts in the two European Union members later today. 20-Feb-11.

New Icesave Deal Approved By Icelandinc Parliament But Will The President Sign It Into Law?

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.

Mervyn King drawn into fresh row over Icesave collapse


• Iceland's former central banker claims King gave assurances UK would not press for guarantee on £5bn of Britons' savings
• Spokesman for King issues denial and says he had been urging country 'for months' to shrink its banking system

A bitter war of words between Bank of England governor Mervyn King and his former counterpart in Iceland is threatening to reopen old wounds from the Icesave scandal, in which billions of pounds of British deposits were ensnared in the north Atlantic island's financial meltdown just over two years ago.

The row comes at a sensitive time in the Icesave saga as Icelandic MPs are scrutinising a controversial bill outlining terms under which Iceland would repay foreign governments that picked up the tab for retail deposit guarantees.  23-Jan-10.


Custody Confirmed over Former Landsbanki CEO

The Supreme Court of Iceland confirmed yesterday the verdict of Reykjavík District Court that former CEO of Landsbanki, Sigurjón Th. Árnason, is to remain in custody until January 25. Árnason had appealed the District Court’s verdict. . .

Iceland’s Special Prosecutor is currently investigating alleged market abuse at Landsbanki from 2003 to 2008.  19-Jan-10.

Landsbanki executives arrested in Iceland

Police in Iceland have arrested the former boss of failed bank Landsbanki and another senior executive.

Former chief executive Sigurjon Arnason and Ivar Gudjonsson, ex-head of the bank's investments arm, were held on allegations of market manipulation.  14-Jan-11.

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