DAG PRESS RELEASE on Justice Committee Meeting, 10 December
The Press release is on the Public Site:
The text is reproduced here:
How can the UK Ministry of Justice look after the international interests of the IOM when doing so brings it into conflict with its sister Government Department the UK Treasury?
Worse still, how can the MoJ delegate the interests of the IOM to the UK Treasury when seemingly it has no intention to act on its behalf?
Lord Bach: ...whether it be the Treasury or the MOJ there has been no conflict between the two departments at all as to their role.
Was it in the best interests of the Isle of Man that £557m of assets from KSFIOM was allowed to sit in the UK, giving no advance warning when the authorities planned to introduce legislation that specifically led to these assets being frozen, the knock-on effect of which was the demise of KSFIOM?
If this had been reversed and the IOM government had introduced its own similar legislation that had frozen the assets of a UK bank on the island, penalising over 10,000 depositors and bringing desperation for many UK taxpayers, do you think the UK government would have let that situation persist?
Lord Bach: ….no time did our regulator advise or require these deposits to be made, the discussion did not extend to the giving of any assurances by the FSA …that the IOM branch would be treated preferentially, under our insolvency rules and law the IOM branch ranks like any other creditor of the bank…
The Ministry of Justice, the very UK Government department responsible for the justice and welfare of the UK tax payer and the safeguard of the Crown Dependencies appears totally unaware of the legislation introduced by the UK Government and sponsored by the UK Treasury that ensures an IOM bank does NOT rank like any other creditor of the bank since clause 27 states that no assets can be returned to a related party i.e. KSFIOM without the approval of The Treasury. No other creditor of KSFLondon is being treated in this way. What is the MoJ doing about this?
Lord Bach: …. Well that's I think a matter [representing IOM interests to the Icelandic Government] still under discussion as I understand it, but it is not an issue that the Ministry of Justice has taken a leading role in. As you know the Treasury has agreed to represent the interests of the IOM…and it will be the Treasury that will represent the Crown Dependencies interests as far as Iceland Government is concerned as to the money it receives from the IMF.
As yet despite it being TWO MONTHS since the bank's assets were frozen, NO-ONE has represented IOM interests to the Icelandic Government and it appears that the IMF loan has been approved by the UK Government with due regard to the interests of UK depositors in Landbanski but without considering the interests of UK depositors in KSFIOM.
The Ministry of Justice has delegated its responsibility to The Treasury who clearly is conflicted given its role in introducing the very legislation that led to the downfall of KSFIOM, not forgetting their ongoing authority inhibiting KSFIOM from becoming a normal creditor of KSFLondon.
How does the Ministry of Justice believe it is fulfilling its constitutional role given these circumstances?
Lord Bach: … Frankly the relationships that there is between the crown dependencies and her Majesty's government …it's so good to make us believe that all sides will act sensibly
How can the UK Government's actions regarding KSFIOM be regarded as sensible. This is clearly a one way relationship where any requests for sensible help from IOM are ignored and all instructions from UK Government must be obeyed.
When will the Ministry of Justice start fulfilling its constitutional responsibility in representing the Isle of Man in its discussions with Iceland and the IMF?
When will the UK Government admit that it has made a mistake and is harming the interests of thousands of UK depositors in order to gain a power advantage over a Crown Dependency (somewhere in the Irish Sea!!)?
When will this nightmare end for KSFIOM depositors?
NB: Updated 15/12: Link: http://www.ksfiomdepositors.org/press-release/breaking-news-are-we-take-...
pdf files of the transcript of the Justice Committee Meeting are on the link at the TOP of this Post