Icesave depositors compensation - just spoke to FSCS

I just spoke to the FSCS (financial services compensation scheme). They said they got all the relevant data from Icesave, and will be writing to all depositors in the next 1-2 weeks. A printed statement
from the Icesave website should suffice, but the form that will be sent will contain more detailed instructions. No clear indication exists on the timeline, but the operator said around Christmas. Of course none of this is final yet.
In the meanwhile, the main source of information is http://www.fscs.org.uk/consumer/
and, secondarly, Google news: http://news.google.co.uk/news?hl=en&q=icesave&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tab=wn&scoring=n
Hope the above information is useful.
Cheers
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I was expecting that the FSA would reach some sort of financial agreement with Iceland that would enable the accounts of UK savers to be unfrozen so that we could either withdraw the cash direct from the accounts - or arrange ISA transfers to other banks. It's going to be a lot more complicated if everyone has to complete claim forms and then wait for a cheque - and some sort of authorisation to place the cheques into new ISAs.
Ret.
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On Wed, 15 Oct 2008 18:59:29 +0100, "Ret." <xxx> wrote:

I'm not sure how that would work with people who have fixed deposits with Icesave. If they just unfroze the accounts some people would still have money stuck in their Icesave accounts for up to two more years until the deposit matured. I think I'd prefer to get it out of the control of the Icelandic banks or government as soon as possible.
Chris
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/consumer/

esave&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tab=wn&sc...

Christmas??? In my opinion that's an unacceptable delay for those with INSTANT ACCESS savings accounts. The British government have frozen the funds to cover the pay-outs, so they have the money. If they can find out depositors' names and addresses, then they can find out what their account balances are and either unfreeze the account or send out a cheque ASAP.
There was a woman being interviewed on BBC News 24 yesterday evening - she's just lost her job but has sensibly built up an emergency savings fund to fall back on. The only problem is that it's in IceSave. How is she going to pay the mortgage while HM Government is sitting on her cash? She's not the only one in this situation.
The big banks can go begging to the government and get £50 billion in a couple of weeks, while the same government is expecting prudent savers to wait 2-3 months to get their hands on their own money. I suppose they can just freeze / starve / have their houses repossessed while we are waiting...
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On Thu, 16 Oct 2008 01:49:59 -0700 (PDT),

It's about what you should have expected. The European requirements for deposit guarantees were 20000EUR which expect to be paid within three months.

HM Government isn't sitting on her cash. HM Government is sitting on some assets which could possibly be sold to raise cash. But it's quite possible that HM Government doesn't own those assets - it's frozen them while negotiations progress - but unless and until there is agreement HM Government probably can't sell them without court authorization (probably an EU court).
I don't know how bankruptcy works but probably Icesaves assets should be sold and distributed to depositors equally - so if say their assets are worth half the deposits then every depositor would get 50p in the pound - someone with 1m would get 500K, someone with 6K would get 3K. Then Iceland should step in to top up anybody who got less than 20KEUR up to 20KEUR and then the FSCS should step up and top up anybody who got less than 50K to 50K.
But it might take years to finally cash in all of Icesaves assets. So FSCS and Iceland will have to agree how much each is going to pay now based on a best guess of how much will finally be raised from the assets. They'll have to agree how to balance things up as the assets start selling etc.
IIRC when BCCI went bust there were still high court battles about who owed what to whom six years later. (Infact a quick google shows something happening in the high court in 2006, 15 years after the crash)
And just because the Government has said it will guarantee all retail depositors doesn't mean that it's easy to pay them off because the councils, charities etc are still going to want their share of the liquidation proceeds. At the very least all the creditors are going to have to agree that HM Government paying off the retail depositors doesn't mean that those debts are discharged, they've just transferred from the depositors to the Government (and so to the taxpayer). (The charities, councils etc would prefer that those retail deposits were discharged because then there will be fewer creditors sharing out the assets)

But the government is loaning the money to the banks and charging interest. That's a completely different consideration to the government giving money away. I would expect that anyone having mortgage payments difficulties now would get a sympathetic hearing at their bank if they went along with a printout of their Icesave deposits and said they couldn't pay until they got the money. It's even possible the bank might agree to waive the interest for the next few months (or at least assume that the next three or four payments were made on time even though they will be late)
Tim.
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Tim Woodall wrote: ...

I'm almost suer I saw mention of 6 weeks on the icesave website, but can't find that now.
http://eng.forsaetisraduneyti.is/news-and-articles/nr/3075 is an interesting read, btw. They don't sound too happy with HMG's actions.

/All/ in icesave? Hmmm. What are the schools teaching these days?
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I don't think they will be working on that basis. When Bradford &Bingley was in trouble, FSCS immediately borrowed from the government to underwrite all depositors' accounts transferred to Santander.
Depositors' accounts/money were immediately available to them.
FSCS/government will know how much they get back when the final reckoning of B&Bs account is done. Any shortfall is recovered by a levy on all members contributing to the FSCS.
I would expect if they can't transfer Icesave depositors' accounts to another bank with the same FSCS guarantees, then government will lend FSCS the money to pay depositors reasonably quickly. Again, some money will eventually be recovered from Icesave, the Iceland guarantee scheme, and some from the FSCS levy.
I think recent events has shown the likely inadequacy of the FSCS to deal with large/multiple bank failures, and all government actions on depositors accounts (nationalisation, takeovers, and assurances to Icesave depositors) has been to remedy this and prolong confidence that depositors money is (so far) safe.
Toom
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Tim Woodall wrote:

No they wouldn't because Landsbanki assets would be used to discharge the retail depositors meaning less left for the wholesale depositors.
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On Thu, 16 Oct 2008 20:04:39 +0100,

So retail depositors are higher up the pecking order? I'm surprised at that. I'd assumed they all had a similar claim to the liquidation proceeds.
Tim.
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ll wrote:

he

Again it depends on whether the FSCS is, even in these exceptional circumstances, able to operate as intended. The payments under FSCS would not normally fall on the government/taxpayer. Even if they did initially, the FSCS scheme is funded by a levy on the banks themselves. It is yet to be seen how this operates when the main contributors to the levy are themselves struggling financially, and whether they can reimburse the fund in the short or long term.
With regard to pecking order, one financial commentator (unfortunately I didn't keep the reference), stated that some of the inter-bank loans to Northern Rock were preference loans which, if true, would have left the ordinary depositors and FSCS particularly exposed (NR had £20+bn in ordinary savings deposits and £70+bn in commercial loans). It would be interesting to know if this is the case and how common that is in the banking industry.
Toom
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2008 02:41:04 -0700 (PDT),

I think we might be talking past each other here.
AIUI there are four ways for the Icesave depositors to get their money:
1. Proceeds of liquidation. I understood that creditors are ranked. The highest ranked creditors got first grab of the pot. If there's any left then the next ranked etc until the pot is empty. When there is insufficient to pay off all the creditors of equal rank then they all get so many pence in the pound.
In particular, this would mean that someone with 1m deposits might get 500K back, someone with 30k would get 15k back and someone with 1k would get 500 back.
2. Iceland guarantee scheme (for simplicity we'll say 16k) This will top up anyone from step 1 above who lost money on deposits up to 16k. So the 1k depositor above would get 500, the 30k invester 1k while the 1M depositor would get nothing. (Or maybe the 1M depositor says they got 8K back on the first 16K and so are eligible for 8k from the Icelandic scheme?)
3. FSCS guarantee scheme. This will top up anyone from step 1 above who lost money on deposits between 16k and 50k. So the 30k depositor would get 14k back. (Or maybe the 1M depositor will say they've got 17k back on the 34k from 16k to 50k so they're eligible for 17k from FSCS)
4. Government guarantee. This will make up any and all losses for retail depositors. (I don't actually know what the definition of a retail depositor is so if this isn't the correct term then substitute whatever is correct for the people the government has given a guarantee)
IIUC, the FSCS scheme will not guarantee the funds from step 2. So if Iceland refuses to pay out for any reason then the 1k depositor will still get nothing in step 3 and the 30k invester will get 14k back.
I suspect that the real FSCS liability is quite small. Very large depositors are likely to recover more than 50k from the liquidation anyway. Most other depositors will be below the Icelandic guarantee.
Other depositors not guaranteed by the government guarantee would rather see the ones who are guaranteed discharged by the government guarantee rather than (partially) discharged by the liquidation proceeds. Because that way there's fewer creditors to share the liquidation proceeds.
There were many, many legal battles when BCCI went under. Things like whether a mortgage to a director in order to raise funds for his company could be offset against the company's deposits (IIRC the eventual conclusion was no.) I see no reason to expect that Icesave will be any simpler. Imagine, for example, that Icelandic bankruptcy law ranks all depositors equal while UK law doesn't. How should the liquidation proceeds be shared?
Tim.
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Tim Woodall wrote:

In terms of insolvency law, when you claim under one of the compensation schemes, what happens is that you assign the debt to them, they pay you the money and they take your place in the queue for the insolvency pay-out. So the existence of the compensation scheme does not benefit any of the other creditors.
To the extent that any of the compensation schemes don't cover your debt, you don't assign that bit of it to the compensation scheme, and you have to wait in line yourself to collect the money from the liquidator. In the case of IceSave, the Treasury has offered to take the uninsured bit off you, pay you for it and wait in line for the pay-out.
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Jonathan Bryce wrote:

The Netherlands 'loans' the first E. 20k to Iceland which agrees to reimburse savers. The funds are distributed by the central bank. (Deposits from 20k up to 100k were insured in the Netherlands to begin with.) Anything above 100k is probably lost as Iceland cannot pay up. (Initially savers were told they should have read the fine print, and needed to file individual claims in Iceland for amounts up to 20k, though.)
To my understanding a savings scheme in Belgium similar to that of Icesave will now be unwind so that saver can withdraw deposits properly.
What it seems to comes down to, is that European countries now accept part of the blame and end up with most of the bill for the foreseeable future...
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