My version of Expat's open letter to Gordon Brown

Posted 10/05/2009 - 07:40 by tonycBrisbaneOz

Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
10 Downing Street,
United Kingdom.

Dear Mr Brown,


May I ask you, when you authorised the seizing and later break up of Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Limited (KSFL) last October because the bank was deemed to be a threat to national financial stability, and to protect onshore UK onshore depositors in the bank, did you realise this also forced Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Isle of Man Limited (KSFIOM) into administration?

Did you know that at the time the bank was very strong financially and was not materially exposed to Iceland? The reason for this was that the Isle of Man FSC, unlike the UK FSA - who stood by and allowed billions of UK funds to be invested in Icesave and hence in Iceland, with catastrophic results – saw the crisis coming and acted to move £700m of the banks funds from Iceland back to the UK and KSFL.

Did you know that the Isle of Man banks net assets in KSFL are approximately £400m mostly in cash and short term securities, and that if the funds were returned to the Isle of Man all depositors could be repaid or the bank could be sold? Indeed to begin with there were 15 expressions of interest in buying the bank.

Instead, we have had to endure 6 months of enormous uncertainty and anxiety whilst the Isle of Man authorities repeatedly contacted relevant UK authorities but without result. Now we are asked to choose between a Scheme of Arrangement and Liquidation. Both will be costly and take a long time. The unknown is how much we will get back from the UK. Can you tell me why this should not be 100% of our property?

Did you know that our depositors number nearly 10,000 people mostly UK nationals, and that of the £840m value of deposits, more than half are savings including life savings of UK expatriate citizens resident in almost every county in the world?

Mr Brown, when you retire, I note that your pension will be approximately £1.75m. Imagine how you would would feel this money were to be suddenly taken away from you, having to wait years to have it paid back, and with no certainty of having anywhere near to 100% of what you are owed returned to you. This scenario is a reality for many savers and many pensioners may live never see all of their their property returned to them. Are you are a man of compassion? Please think of your citizens both at home and overseas that have become caught up in this crises. UK and EU citizens pay their taxes, Mr Brown. One lady has saved more than £600,000 over the years and is completely distraught at the prospect of loosing any portion of her hard won savings, as we all are, wouldn't you be?

During your interview on the BBC Politics Show on the 23rd of November 2008 you are quoted as saying "these are extraordinary times and they need extraordinary actions....... we don't want British savers being pushed from pillar to post and that the government's job is to look after them". It is still not too late for an extraordinarily modest action, the release to all the funds belonging to KSF IOM from the control of HM Treasury to its rightful owners. There are no costs to the UK tax payer in this and then the living hell which 10,000 people have had to endure for the past six months will be ended.

Yours sincerely,

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