Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Bell defends plan for bank savers

KSF (Isle of Man) building
Many MHKs were unhappy at Mr Bell's plans

Treasury Minister Allan Bell has defended his plan to help depositors with the Isle of Man's Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander (KSFIoM) bank.

He faced questions from MHKs in the House of Keys about a scheme to use public money and funds from banks to pay back small depositors earlier.

Many MHKs were unhappy with the proposals, which need to be agreed by the liquidator, depositors and courts.

Mr Bell said he was trying to find a solution which could be agreed by all.

"We are having to deal with a vast array of disparate issues and interests to come to a conclusion which I hope will be in the best interests of depositors," he said.

"That is absolutely at the forefront of our deliberations and will continue to remain so until we get the solution which I hope everyone ultimately will see as the best deal we could develop in the best interests of the depositors themselves."

Depositors, who have been left unable to access their funds since the Manx bank's licence was suspended in October, have demanded a public inquiry into the bank's collapse.

If it is wound up, savers would only be able to claim up to 50,000 compensation.

In the meantime they are entitled to claim a 1,000 interim payment from the government.

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