The Economic and Tax Committee of the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, is likely to introduce two disclaimers to the Icesave agreement: that the maximum payment for each savings account will not exceed EUR 20,887 (USD 30,099) and that Iceland will not repay the Icesave loans any longer than until 2024.
The headquarters of Landsbanki in Reykjavík. Icesave was the online savings unit of Landsbanki in the UK and the Netherlands. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
According to Morgunbladid, these disclaimers could lead to a new agreement. It is considered unlikely that the contracting parties, British and Dutch authorities, agree to provide loans to the Icelandic Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund if the state guarantee will be so limited.
MP for the Social Democrats Gudbjartur Hannesson, who serves as chair for the Economic and Tax Committee, confirmed that disclaimers on the state guarantee have been discussed in the committee.
He said these disclaimers include a provision that the agreement can be reviewed and the conditions necessary for reviewing the agreement. Hannesson explained that the goal is for the disclaimers to be included in the current agreement but also that they will have a binding effect.
“There is a certain scope for flexibility [in the agreement],” Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon told Morgunbladid. He said it is impossible to change the agreement unilaterally but that disclaimers added by the Economic and Tax Committee are likely to fit within that scope.
MP for the Independence Party Birgir Ármannsson stated that adding strict disclaimers to the Icesave agreement equals rejecting it, since the original agreement includes an unconditional state guarantee.
“It is clear that such disclaimers presented by Icelanders afterwards won’t have a binding effect on Britain or the Netherlands,” Ármannsson concluded.
Click here to read more about Icesave.