PROGRESS made in getting Landsbanki Guernsey depositors their money back means that no public meeting with them is now necessary, the States heard yesterday. . .
During question time Deputy David De Lisle sought an update on what the chief minister and Policy Council had done.
Chief Minister Lyndon Trott said that responsibility for recovering the depositors’ money rested with the Royal Court-appointed joint administrators – the Policy Council was in regular contact.
So far 67.5p in the pound has been returned – it is estimated that eventually depositors will get back 91p. 30-Sep-10.http://www.thisisguernsey.com/2010/09/30/progress-means-there-is-now-no-need-to-meet-landsbanki-savers/
Iceland’s new Economy Minister Arni Pall Arnason wants to make clear to the U.K. and Netherlands his government won’t negotiate a depositor claims settlement at any price and may resort to the courts in pursuit of better terms. . .
Moody’s in July said continued failure to resolve the Icesave dispute may prompt the International Monetary Fund and other lenders to withhold future disbursements. Iceland has been relying on a $4.6 billion IMF-led loan since 2008 to stay afloat. The fund said on July 23 it was aiming to conduct its third review of Iceland’s loan in early September. Arnason said a date for that review has yet to be set. 08-Sep-10.
Expat depositors battling for the return of their entire savings from Landsbanki Guernsey have learned they face hefty legal costs if they wish to continue the fight.
At a settlement meeting with the Icelandic Winding Up Board (WUB) on August 13th, depositors' claims for "priority status" were rejected and deferred to the district court of Reykjavik where legal representation could run into the thousands.
In contrast, UK and Dutch depositors with Landsbanki subsidiaries, represented by their respective governments, were awarded priority status and refunded in full within weeks of the bank's collapse in October 2008. 24-Aug-10.
Some depositors whose savings were trapped when Guernsey's Landsbanki bank collapsed, and who last week were told they must go to court in Iceland if they wish to continue their quest to reclaim all of their money, are vowing to fight on.
“We have said right from the beginning that we are after 100% of our money back,” Gary Blanchford, deputy chairman of the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors' Action Group (LGDAG), said in an interview with the BBC, in which he also criticised the Guernsey government for failing to ensure that their depositors were treated on an equal footing with those in the UK and the Netherlands. International Adviser website 18-Aug-10.
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) yesterday sent a letter outlining its decision that Iceland is legally bound to insure the minimum deposit guarantee to British and Dutch Icesave account holders. The guarantee is part of Iceland’s EEA (European Economic Area) membership agreement.
The minimum depositors’ guarantee is EUR 20,000 per saver in the failed Icesave internet savings accounts which were run as a branch of Landsbanki before it collapsed in autumn 2008. The EFTA report states that the UK and the Netherlands have reimbursed their own savers and that Iceland’s severe recession does not diminish the country’s obligation to pay the two governments back.
The Icelandic government had insisted in a letter to the EFTA that the existence of a depositors’ guarantee fund in the country was enough to fulfil the requirements of the EU directive on cross border banking and also that the rules do not fully apply in the case of the collapse of an entire national banking system (as happened in Iceland). The EFTA disagrees with this reading of European law. 27-May-10.
Pall Benediktsson, spokesman for the Landsbanki resolution committee, says that a special investigations team at the auditing company Deloitte has been preparing a report into alleged misconduct at Landsbanki before the crash in autumn 2008.
“There they have professional bookkeeping investigators doing much the same as Kroll for Glitnir. They will hand in their report on their investigation at the next bank creditors’ meeting on 27th May,” Benediktsson told Visir.is . . .
Benediktsson is unhappy at an article published this week on Visir.is saying that the Landsbanki committee constantly drags its feet on communicating openly compared to its Kaupthing and Glitnir counterparts. He said it is simply not true that the committee has been withholding information. 15-May-10.
Savers with Landsbanki Guernsey who lost money during the Icelandic banking crisis have welcomed a report from a Commons committee which criticised the UK government's handling of the situation.
The Justice Committees report on the relationship between the UK, Guernsey and the Isle of Man highlighted the role played by the UK Treasury in representing the interests of the crown dependencies during its negotiations with Icelandic authorities during the crisis, and concluded that the UK had failed to look after the interests of Guernsey adequately.
Landsbanki Guernseys parent company went into administration in 2008, and Guernseys savers were amongst the worst hit of the crisis. 23-Apr-10.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) was blanked and bluffed by Icelandic bankers for months over the ticking Icesave time bomb.
A 2000-page Icelandic report into the 2008 banking crisis which almost bankrupted the tiny island country reveals the behind-the-scenes talks between the FSA, the Icelandic government and Landsbanki. It shows the FSA waited seven months before pulling the plug on Landsbanki, of which Icesave was the online savings arm, despite being faced with mounting evidence that the bank was not strong enough to survive. 21-Apr-10.
Sir - In 2005 as chief executive of Singer & Friedlander I explained to the Financial Services Authority why the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing, should not be allowed to take over Singer & Friedlander as its management was not "fit and proper", and so did the rest of the board. We were all ignored.
On Tuesday after the Icelandic parliament published its Truth Report into the collapse of the Icelandic banks, including Kaupthing, I wrote to the chairman of the FSA pointing out the report makes it clear that the whole Icelandic banking and regulatory system had failed massively. The honesty of the report is in stark contrast to the attitude of the FSA and the Treasury, which have refused to explain how they could have done so little, while letting these banks operate in the UK.
Did the FSA and the Treasury realise how badly run and regulated the Icelandic banks had been? And if they did, why didn't they do anything? If only they had done something many UK depositors and taxpayers would have been spared a great deal of pain, as would the whole of the Icelandic community. [Signed] Tony Shearer. Finance Comment pages, Telegraph website 18-Apr-10.
The doorstopping official report into the collapse of Iceland's banking system may not make for entirely comfortable reading for the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, or the Financial Services Authority.
In the Spring of 2008 the Icelandic central bank - the Sedlabanki - made a request to the Bank of England for a currency swap agreement after Iceland had failed to renew a credit line with the Basle-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
Mervyn King sensibly refused - after all, Icelandic bank liabilities were five times the size of the nation's economy - and offered some help in reducing the size of Iceland's banking sector.
What happened next is unclear. But we know that between the spring and autumn of 2008, when the Icelandic banks collapsed like dominos, savers' money continued to pour into Icesave and other Icelandic deposit accounts.
The missing piece in this puzzle is what the Bank of England decided to do with its assessment of the Icelandic banks when it refused help. One trusts it informed the other tripartite members - the Treasury and the FSA - which should have been far stronger in warning depositors of the risk. 12-Apr-10.