POLICY COUNCIL

 

AN OPEN LETTERTO THE LANDSBANKI DEPOSITORS AND TO THE PEOPLE OF GUERNSEY FROM THE CHIEF MINISTER LYNDON TROTT

 

3rd August 2009

 

Over the weekend Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors Action Group (LGDAG) spokesmen Matthew Dorman and Gary Blanchford have accused me of misleading voters in Guernsey and depositors of Landsbanki Guernsey.

These accusations are entirely unfounded and I refute them in the strongest possible terms. I have not misled any voter or depositor on the work that the Guernsey Government is doing to help facilitate the recovery of monies to savers.

Indeed I have consistently outlined the actions taken by the Guernsey Government and myself as Chief Minister — including face-to-face with members of LGDAG.

LGDAG’s views are built on an erroneous interpretation to answers provided by the UK Government under Freedom of Information (Fol) legislation. Responses to Fol requests are notoriously terse and reveal only part of the picture, usually only responding within the strictest interpretation of the parameters of the questions and allowing for exemptions. It should be noted that HM Treasury (HMT) is leading on this issue in the UK, not the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The questions asked by LGDAG are based on a number of false premises, and it is unsurprising that the answers do not reveal the true picture.

I will confirm for the record once again that:

1. Guernsey has had formal and Informal discussions with HMT (as UK lead department) and the MoJ (as a supporting department) regarding Landsbanki Guernsey on a number of occasions since October 2008

2. Guernsey has been involved in direct talks on this subject at ministerial and official level with the previous and the new Icelandic Government — and under our initiative we will meet the new government for face-to-face talks later this week

3. The Government of Guernsey is involved in regular dialogue with the Joint Administrators, who have legal responsibility for the recovery of monies on behalf of the Landsbanki depositors

I am very much aware of the frustrations and anger of the Landsbanki depositors. I understand it from my constituents, friends and indeed colleagues in the Government of Guernsey who are depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey.

Some of the more objectionable personal insults, while regrettable, are the result of ignorance of our Machinery of Government by many members of the LGDAG.

I do not make statements for short-term political expediency, nor will I seek to unfairly raise expectations. I call on all those who are involved in the Landsbanki issue, no matter how frustrated or angry they are, to take the same approach. It may be easy for some to forget, but we are all working towards the same objective.

It must be remembered that while there is little appetite from either members of the States, or our community, for the use of taxpayers’ monies in this matter, it is important that we continue to do all we can on behalf of those affected.

This is a painstaking process that must be followed to the letter. The Joint Administrator has legal primacy; the Guernsey Government has no legal role in this process.

Despite this the Government has decided to try to constructively influence the process, and the talks in Iceland are just the latest step in that respect. The Joint Administrator said in May 2009 that the eventual outcome for Landsbanki savers could be repayment of up to 89p in the pound. Our efforts are aimed to increase this further.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

L.S. Trott

Chief Minister.