Landsbanki Guernsey depositors around the world have begun to receive a message from the Winding-Up Board of the bank’s Icelandic parent saying that it has “decided to reject” their claims for compensation on the grounds that “it has not been sufficiently shown” that the parent entity had ever agreed to guarantee its Guernsey arm's liabilities.
News of the rejection of the depositors’ claims for compensation was disclosed to International Adviser today in an email from Landsbanki Guernsey depositor Mark Ashbey, a member of the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors’ Action Group (LGDAG).
Another member of the group, Matthew Dorman, said both his organisation and the joint administrators, Deloitte, “had been expecting this” and would be submitting objections to the decision to the Winding-Up Board. They will also continue to pursue their legal actions against Landsbanki Iceland and the Icelandic government, he added.
Spokespersons for Deloitte could not immediately be reached.
Around 1,600 depositors, more than 90% of them British, had some £120m on deposit in the Guernsey branch of Landsbanki when it collapsed in October 2008. At the time, Guernsey did not have a depositors’ compensation scheme in force. So far the Guernsey depositors have received about 67.5p in the pound, unlike Landsbanki depositors in the UK and Netherlands, who received 100% of their money months ago. International Adviser website - 14-Feb-10.
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.
Arnold Schilder, former head of the inner supervision of the Dutch Central Bank said the Icelandic Central Bank had lied about the situation of Landsbanki’s Icesave savings scheme up until the banking collapse of October 2008 during a parliamentary inquest into the global credit crisis in the Netherlands yesterday.
“I have to say that our Icelandic colleagues were not telling us the truth. We often asked them straight out how it was going and they always answered with Hallelujah stories, that nothing was wrong. Not even in August and September 2008,” Schilder told the parliamentary committee, RÚV reports.
Schilder said Nout Wellink, the president of the Central Bank of the Netherlands, had also received similar answers.
Wellink was also called before the parliamentary committee yesterday to discuss other aspects of the crisis. On Thursday he will answer the committee’s questions about Icesave. That day, Dutch Minister of Finance Wouter Bos will also be called before the committee. 02-Feb-10.
After looking more at this interesting document called: Report on moratorium and other issues concerning Landsbanki Íslands hf. One chapter caught my attention more than others. Page 9 and 10 in the document is the explanation of the banking crisis and economic crisis in Iceland. . .
This [the report] is correct up to a point. They stretch the explanation far by blaming the whole collapse in Iceland and of the banks on the international credit liquidity crisis or the credit crunch that went in free fall with the Lehman Brothers collapse.
To say that this was the only reason is not only simplistic, but misleading as well. What about all the money leaving all the banks? What about all the loans and financial acrobatics to owners, offshore companies and strange business partners? What about all the investments abroad and in Iceland in companies and individuals without collateral?
To answer this so people understand: It is insane for the resolution committee to actually blame the whole system failure in Iceland on the international credit crunch. Independent Icelandic News website 30-Jan-10.
The newly restored Landsbanki is full of secrets. For a government bank it should seem incredible that the information flow is blocked by the bank director Ásmundur Stefánsson and the solvency committees of the fallen bank (Old Landsbanki).
There are two main things that have been surfacing recently. First is the massive 30 billion ISK loan to The Icelandic Group AFTER the economic collapse. The Icelandic Group is the golden calf of the Icelandic fishing industry. The company has exported fish for decades and should by all normal business standards make insane amounts of profit. The company on the other hand has fallen into the hands of the greedy and stupid. The goldmine has turned sour by the owners’ investments that can be considered as “insane”. Independent Icelandic News website - 18-Jan-10.
DEPUTIES have again been asked by the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors' Action Group to do more to get their money back.
An email sent to States members at the weekend claimed the Assembly had done nothing to help the 1,600 depositors, 600 of whom are Guernsey taxpayers.
LGDAG chairman Neil Dickens said that even after the anticipated distribution this month, depositors would still be waiting for one third of their savings back, not counting lost interest and income.
'The administrators have offered a final return of possibly 85 to 91%, but this could take some years to materialise - 100% will not be attained without Guernsey government intervention.'
'Proof has been produced to all of you that there was a clear lack of due diligence by the GFSC, a matter we are strongly recommending you seriously review,' he told the deputies.
Mr Dickens said a new documentary had been produced by Guernsey savers about the hardships they had endured. It has been posted on YouTube. Article from print-copy of Guernsey Press - 11-Jan-10.
The president of Iceland blocked a hard fought $5 billion compensation deal with the British and Dutch governments on Tuesday, upending the precarious finances and politics of the island nation and further jeopardizing already frayed ties with Europe and international lenders. . .
The savings of Icelandic citizens were protected by an unlimited domestic deposit guarantee.
In a statement, the British treasury — which along with its Dutch counterpart pushed Iceland to amend a previous bill, making it tougher on Iceland — said that the “government expects Iceland to live up to its obligations.” . . .
“By pushing so hard, the British and the Dutch might push Iceland into bankruptcy and get no money back at all,” said Jon Danielsson, an expert on the Icelandic economy at the London School of Economics. Deal Books blog in The New York Times - 05-Jan-10.
The Icelandic parliament is in turmoil in the third and final debate over Icesave. The parliament’s Budget Committee received last minute communications from British solicitors Mishcon de Reya indicating that they are in possession of important documents that the parliament should familiarise themselves with before making the final decision on the Icesave-bill. . .
The information allegedly suppressed was Mischon de Reya’s evaluation of proceedings against the British Financial Supervisory Authority that may strengthen the position of Iceland in talks about the Icesave-issue.
“I think it is safe to say that any European government, proven guilty of hiding such information, after having been repeatedly asked if all available and relevant information was on the table would not be allowed to remain in control of parliament” said Sigmundur David. 30-Dec-09.
LANDSBANKI Guernsey depositors will get more of their savings back in the new year, the bank's administrators have confirmed.
The administrators now also believe that savers might get more than 90% of their money back – after having previously said it would require 'external intervention' to recover that much. 18-Dec-09
The joint administrators of the Guernsey branch of the failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki said a third distribution to creditors of between 11 and 12.5p in the pound will take place in January.
They also updated their estimate for the ultimate recovery for creditors to be between 85 and 91p.
Deloitte said the increase reflected "the largely successful realisation of assets in 2009 driven, in part, by better-than-feared market conditions, and the intense efforts of the administration team".
It added that these estimated returns were still subject to "a wide range of factors primarily connected to the UK residential property market, many of which are outside of the joint administrators control, which may result in the actual return being lower or higher than this range". International Adviser, 17-Dec-09
Also: Deloitte to recover 90% for Landsbanki creditors, Accountancy Age, 18-Dec-09