Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 15:23 UK

UK offers hope for KSF depositors

Kaupthing Bank sign
The nationalisation of Kaupthing Bank hastened its subsidiary's problems

The UK government is representing the Isle of Man in talks to ensure savers get back money frozen by Iceland's nationalisation of Kaupthing Bank.

Depositors in collapsed Manx subsidiary Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (KSF) bank have been seeking assurances on their deposits since last week.

Chief Minister Tony Brown said the UK officials had now confirmed they would represent the island in negotiations.

Savers in KSF (Isle of Man) welcomed the announcement on Wednesday.

The Manx Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) suspended the bank's licence on 8 October after its parent bank Kaupthing was nationalised.

The Icelandic bank issued a parental guarantee in September 2007 to take responsibility for the liabilities, including deposits, of its Manx subsidiary.

I hope this is the first move towards a positive resolution on behalf of all the depositors
Steve Thomas, KSF depositor

But although the UK government - which is responsible for representing the island in international matters - said British savers were protected, it has so far failed to guarantee money in offshore accounts.

Chief Minister Mr Brown said: "It is encouraging news that the United Kingdom will represent the island in its talks with the Icelandic government.

"We are looking to the government of Iceland to honour the guarantee given to depositors."

Steve Thomas, who had hundreds of thousands of pounds in KSF (Isle of Man) after selling his home, is one of thousands of depositors anxiously waiting for a guarantee.

The 57-year-old thanked the government for clarifying the situation, and particularly treasury minister Allan Bell who he said had worked tirelessly since his return to the island.

"I hope this is the first move towards a positive resolution on behalf of all the depositors," said Mr Thomas.

The FSC said savings of up 50,000 would be protected by the Depositors Protection Scheme (DPS).

But many of the bank's thousands of customers had their life savings invested, and stand to lose much more should the Iceland government fail to guarantee the money.

Savers demand answers on collapse
12 Oct 08 |  Isle of Man
Attempts made to retrieve assets
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Government pledges action on bank
10 Oct 08 |  Isle of Man
Bank savers facing anxious wait
10 Oct 08 |  Isle of Man
Savings protection boost approved
09 Oct 08 |  Isle of Man

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