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.

[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.

Landsbanki cash recovery for administrators, not the States

RECOVERING Landsbanki depositors’ money is down to the administrators, not the States, according to the chief minister. . .

Landsbanki Guernsey savers have accused the Guernsey Financial Services Commission of allowing the bank to advertise a worthless parental guarantee.

It follows the Icelandic Winding-up Board rejecting savers’ claims because Landsbanki Guernsey did not have a guarantee from its Icelandic parent company to back its deposits. . .

The GFSC does require subsidiary banks to have letters of comfort in place but it has always recognised that these are not legally binding and made that point plainly in the same consultation paper. . .

‘It is clearly incorrect for the LGDAG to “question the validity” of the chief minister’s recent assurances that Landsbanki Guernsey depositors would be treated fairly by the Winding-Up Board, as claimed by the LGDAG. I regrettably cannot do anything other than to express my disappointment that the LGDAG has sought to personalise the matter and in doing so misrepresent our position.’

Guernsey savers have so far had a little over two thirds of their money back.  22-Feb-10.

Depositors seek Landsbanki inquiry

DEPOSITORS in a Guernsey bank that went bust are angry that a guarantee from its Icelandic parent now appears not to be worth the paper it was written on.

Earlier this week the winding up board for Landsbanki’s affairs in Iceland rejected depositors’ claims under the Guernsey bank’s parental guarantee. And the people who banked at Landsbanki Guernsey are now accusing the Guernsey Financial Services Commission of not doing its job properly.

A group representing the Jesey and Guernsey depositors said that the regulator allowed the bank to advertise a parental guarantee to potential customers that has not now been honoured. They also say that recent assurances given by Guernsey Chief Minister Lyndon Trott, that depositors would be treated fairly by the winding up board, were worthless.

The group is calling for an independent public inquiry to investigate what went wrong and to hold people to account.

About 100 Jersey depositors are still owed about £2 million after the bank failed in October 2008. Over a period of time, they have been repaid chunks of their savings and have so far got back about two thirds. 20-Feb-10.

British, Dutch propose new Icesave deal

REUTERS: The Netherlands and Britain are proposing a new debt repayment deal with Iceland which may save the island nation holding a politically risky referendum on the Icesave crisis, a source said Friday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source familiar with the situation said the offer's main feature is a floating interest rate designed to ease Iceland's burden as it repays $5 billion (3.24 billion pounds) to the two European Union countries.

The offer maintains other elements of a deal the three sides agreed in October, including full debt repayment and a 7-year grace period, the source told Reuters.

The source described it as "an offer they can't refuse," specifically designed to address the Icelandic government's primary concerns about the existing arrangement while guaranteeing a reasonable rate of interest for its creditors. Yahoo! UK & Ireland News website - 19-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.

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