Return to Landsbanki Guernsey Fiasco 

 

Dear Deputy    1th July 2010

May I first remind you of the chief Minister’s reply to a letter in the Press on Thursday 8th July 2010 by Kate Barrett, entitled , “We’re still waiting”. A copy is attached should you wish to read it.

Could I then draw your attention to my response which is at present with the editor of the Guernsey press and is laid out below the Chief Minister’s response.

I see from his response that he intends to refer the matter back to the Policy Council, I do hope that he explains:

1)      Why his meeting with the depositors (and public) never took place?

2)      Why a year has nearly passed and neither the landsbanki depositors or the States members, as far as I know, have received any political update since a short statement after his visit to Iceland in August 2009? Taking into consideration how badly Guernsey was let down by , the UK Treasury, The Ministry of Justice and the FSA.

3)      Why an independent, Guernsey Government inquiry has not been instigated, similar to those held by the UK Treasury Select Committee, the UK Ministry of Justice, The Isle of Man select Committee and the Icelandic parliament’s “truth report”, all of whom found severe failings in the different regulatory bodies. Promontory was far from independent and came up with the findings required by the GFSC to protect them against legal action. No independent witnesses were called and there was no obligation to answer questions under oath or produce paperwork.

4)      Why the UK and Dutch Governments still remain priority creditors of Landsbanki in Iceland, while the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors have been turned down by the winding up board. Considering that the UK Treasury was representing Guernsey in Iceland.

5)      How has the Chief Minister been working tirelessly behind the scenes over the last year to ensure fair political representation for the Landsbanki Guernsey depositors, by both Guernsey's Government and Those of the UK Government who represent (allegedly) Guernsey? 

 

These are but a few of the questions that need answering.

 

 

Editor’s footnote: Chief Minister Lyndon Trott replies: ‘I am grateful for the opportunity to respond to this letter. Readers will know that there have been a handful of letters, which have made the same points over the past months, and the comments I made in response to those are equally applicable here. I would, however, like to add that I have only ever declined to have a private meeting with the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors Action Group because the issue in question is their request for payment using Guernsey taxpayers’ money, and so should be open to the public, a condition the group do not appear to accept.
As I have previously stated publicly, the report by Promontory Financial Group (UK) Limited, led by the highly-respected Michael Foot CBE, looked into the circumstances leading to the placing of Landsbanki Guernsey Limited (LGL) into administration and found that the GFSC measured up to good practice, that it met international standards and that there was no regulatory failure.
That being the case, the Policy Council does not believe that the expenditure of more taxpayers’ money on another inquiry is justified.
I will once again refer this matter to the Policy Council in order to ensure that their view remains consistent with previous deliberations.’

Letter to Press by Gary B in response to the statement above by Chief Minister Lyndon Trott to Kate Barrett’s Letter.

 

Dear sir, 9th July 2010

I feel that I really must take issue with Chief Minister, Lyndon Trott’s reply to Kate Barrett’s letter in the press on the 8th July 2010, “Were still waiting.”

His offer to have a meeting with the Landsbanki Depositors is a matter of public record and was made by him when he phoned into the Sunday phone-in on the 22nd February 2009.

The transcript is as follows: “I would also be delighted Penny, assuming an invitation is forthcoming, to address the entire Landsbanki Action Group rather than just a small group of their representatives.” A statement that I would suggest is unambiguous.

As a result of that statement he was immediately invited to address a general meeting of the Landsbanki Guernsey depositors, he declined. Two further invitations were later made to him to attend subsequent meetings; he also declined to attend these even though one of the invites was for a date to suit him.

The Guernsey press then ran an article, “Depositors angered by renege,” which was quickly followed by, “Chief Minister has not backed down on meeting,” but now his original wording had changed to “The Chief Minister has committed to holding a meeting with depositors and the public and has never backtracked from that. Both have an interest in an important issue and deserve to be heard.” In correspondence, Deputy Trott intended to fulfil his public commitment to convene a meeting which would be organised by his office.

We are still waiting and it is now July 2010, and no, the meeting was not just about the use of taxpayers money, it was hoped that Deputy Trott would update all the depositors on what the Guernsey Government was doing on a political front to help them as none of their questions were being answered in a meaningful way by him in correspondence.

I will not go into detail on the Promontory report, which was rushed in by the GFSC within a couple of months of Landsbanki Guernsey going into Administration, but will say that it was instigated by the GFSC under their terms reference and conditions and paid for by them. There were no independent statements taken from outside interested parties and the conclusions fitted exactly what the GFSC required to stop any legal action being taken against them, I quote, “Our overall conclusion is that there was “no bad faith,” no “unreasonable actions” and no “regulatory failure”.

What more would you expect, from your own report. Since that report a large amount of proof has been produced and presented to both the GFSC and the Chief Minister/Policy Council asking for a totally independent inquiry as has happened by the UK Treasury Select Committee, Ministry of justice and the isle of Man Government, all these inquiries have found severe failings in many of the areas that we , the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors Action Group have pointed out to both GFSC and Guernsey Government, not least the fact that the UK Treasury were doing little or nothing in representing Guernsey in Iceland, but giving the Chief Minister the impression they were. Still we get brushed off, Guernsey is still the only Jurisdiction to fail to instigate an independent, select Committee type inquiry into its own bank failure,  the full circumstances leading up to and subsequent to Landsbanki Guernsey going into administration.

The Chief Minister, after a lot of pressure and subsequently finding out after nine months that the UK Treasury were in fact doing nothing to represent Guernsey in Iceland, but following their own self interests, went to Iceland in August 2009 and met a number of officials regarding Landsbanki Guernsey. Apart from a short Press release on his return, which said very little, we have heard nothing since. It is now nearly one year since his visit to Iceland and considering that it was stated early on that he was working tirelessly behind the scenes on our behalf, it begs the questions, what political follow-ups have there been during the last year? Why haven’t the Landsbanki Depositors been kept up to date? Why haven’t the States been kept up to date? Why haven’t the UK Treasury been taken to task for their total failure to represent the island properly? There are many more questions, but Government and the GFSC refuse to answer them.

Why hasn’t there been an independent, select committee type inquiry so that conclusions can be reached and acted upon?

!600 depositors, 600 of them Guernsey residents, placed their faith in Guernsey and the GFSC to regulate their banking system properly, they failed and those 1600 depositors lost £117 million pounds in a Guernsey Regulated Bank. To date they have only recovered about 67% of their savings. Remember they were ordinary depositors, not investors and that landsbanki Guernsey Ltd, contrary to popular opinion, was only offering the same rates or similar to other banks and building societies at that time.

Yours Sincerely

Gary B