Iceland Responds to ESA’s Opinion on Icesave Skip to content

Iceland Responds to ESA’s Opinion on Icesave

icesave-logoThe emergency law established in October 2008 guarantees that Icesave depositors reclaim their entire savings when payments are made from Landsbanki’s bankruptcy estate and therefore Icelandic authorities did not discriminate against British and Dutch nationals, the Icelandic government maintains in its response to the reasoned opinion of the EFTA Supervision Authority (ESA) on the Icesave dispute.

According to the government’s response, delivered late last week, Dutch Icesave depositors are now expected to obtain more than EUR 1.5 billion (ISK 239 billion, USD 2.0 billion) from Landsbanki’s estate and British Icesave depositors EUR 4.2 billion (ISK 668 billion, EUR 5.6 billion), reports.

That amount not only covers the minimum deposit insurance of EUR 20,000 (ISK 3.2 billion, USD 27,000) per account, along with interests, but also the amount the state treasuries of the two countries paid their respective savers in excess of the minimum deposit insurance.

If the emergency law had not been established, the deposits in excess of the minimum deposit insurance would not have been classified as priority claims to Landsbanki’s estate but rather general claims.

Given that the reclamation ratio is 36 percent, British and Dutch savers would have received a lot less than is likely now; the difference is close to ISK 200 billion (USD 1.7 billion, EUR 1.3 billion), according to the current exchange rate.

Minister of Economic Affairs Árni Páll Árnason believes that no further demands can be directed towards Iceland in regards to Icesave and that the ESA will take that into consideration.

“The emergency law made all deposits priority claims, regardless of their amount, and so all depositors in the UK and the Netherlands are about to get all their money back,” Árnason iterated.

“We only think it’s fair that people consider this when looking at the big picture and evaluate the overall effect of the changes to the emergency law we made in 2008 on the reclamation in its entirety but not just look at the deposit insurance from a narrow perspective,” the minister added.

Click here to read more about Icesave.


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