Goodbye Darling

  • Anonymous
  • unspecified
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Posted: Mon, 01/06/2009 - 05:51

It looks very like Darling is on his way out of government:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5418493/MPs-expe...

having been involved in another dubious expenses claim, according to the Telegraph.

I must say that it couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy.

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Re Darling out - so now can we sue him?

  • fight theft
  • 10/10/08 28/05/13
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Mon, 01/06/2009 - 21:26

For being the cause of he loss of our life savings. If he is now not protected surely we can sue him for "perverting the course of justice" or even theft? He also bailed out the bank - RBS that froze our inflight only to still gve them several billions of help instead of helping to return our half Billion loss and to add insult to injury allow the RBS to still receive huge bankers bonuses. I've had enough of this "Scottish Club!" and so I am glad the partnership is now falling apart, one down and one to go.
Can we sue him for perverting the course of justice in refusing to negotiate with the IOM Gov as proposed by the TSC?
He is also the cause of the complete collapse of all Kaupthing banks due to his freezing under the terroism act. As broke as it became Kaupthing Iceland has bailed out it's other European barnches -we may have come off somewhat better if our oney had gone to Iceland rather than the KSFUK it can't have been any worse i don't thin or taken so long already - again thanks Mr. Nobody's Darling - may you rot in Hell. I would have always liked to have seen him thown into the medieval "stocks" while we threw rotten stuff at him to see how and what makes him break 9 reduced to a snivveling wreck in secinds i wouls guess). This is a man that consider evil actualy so any way the UK wishes to dispose of him is fine by me as long as we KSFIOM can take him through the Courts or at least much public shaming.


Just sent this to Treasury as

  • expat
  • 10/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
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  • Mon, 01/06/2009 - 18:49

Just sent this to Treasury as a response to their STANDARD letter, hope its not to late to get at Darling.Dear Ms Gibbs

As promised I have more than a few comments on the standard letter you sent to me following my attempt to insert some decency into this situation.

Firstly, let me say that the standard response you and many others churn out to us is a disgrace. It merely serves to highlight the contempt in which the public is held by this Government and its Civil Servants. Even the quoted figures have not been updated since the first time I received the first version of this template letter back in January! Given the consistently shabby treatment that has been meted out to depositors throughout this affair I, for one, hope to see this matter go to a serious independent enquiry.

You say, ‘it’s the IoM’s responsibility”. Yes, strictly speaking that is the case if one wishes to be extremely narrow-minded and pedantic, however - and this is a very big however - the actions which created this situation and led to the closure of KSF IoM directly originated from the UK Government. It seems that HMG simply will not accept that it has a responsibility in this disaster, even including Alistair Darling’s tedious and somewhat belated acknowledgement that the money in question is not the property of the HMG - after HM Government had already removed it from IoM control. If ever there was a comment from a confused man that was it.

You state that KSF IoM is not a subsidiary of KSF UK. Quite correct, they are two separate legal entities. KSF IoM is resident in a separate legal jurisdiction to S&F UK, their only connection is a business relationship and the fact that were born of the same parent company Kaupthing hf. So how can the action of ostensibly freezing KSF IoM funds be justified if those funds are not owned by KSF UK?

Ah, but the funds were seized under the Insolvency Act, I hear you say. Yes? So why were KFS IOM not made a preferential creditor immediately and the funds returned? Or, under Banking Laws (2008), having realised the mistake at seizing funds of a friendly and Crown Dependency territory, why didn’t the Chancellor use his powers to authorise return of the funds immediately? It seems that subsequently this action was perfectly acceptable for David Whelan! Such inequitable double-standards make a mockery of Paul Myner’s assertion that all creditors ate treated equally. It is patently obvious that some are treated more equally than others!

Then we have this little gem of political double speak:

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Saturday he was pushing the United States to help get $8 billion from the failed U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers to its staff in Britain.
Administrators winding up Lehman's European business have questioned why $8 billion was transferred to New York just before the bank collapsed. There have been fears among Lehman's 4,500 staff in London they may not get their final pay packets.
"We are asking and working with the American government to get that money back to pay salaries, not of high-flying financiers, but of cleaners and people who are computer operators who would otherwise be denied their
money," Brown told delegates at the ruling Labour party's annual conference.
It is to some extent pointless to comment on this quote, however I will say that this is such an extraordinary case of double standards and hypocrisy that it really does raise questions as to the real reasons for HMG’s consistent refusal to return our money to the IOM where it belongs. I appears that the sauce for the goose is evidently not palatable when applied to the gander. This attitude from the First Lord of the Treasury beggars belief.
Furthermore the crux of this matter lies with the legal position in as much as it still has to be determined to the satisfaction of many. Why do Ernst and Young and Ministers consider that KSFIOM should stand in line with other creditors - a situation which means that the Company’s assets are pooled with others and that the Company will have to bear its share of the onshore liquidation costs?

The crucial factor, according to some opinions, is that this position appears to rest on the assumption that the provisions of the 1986 Insolvency Act apply. However, as you may be aware, the 1986 Act was designed to allow a company to seek voluntary administration or Court Order in a situation whereby that company is unable to pay its debts. As I am sure that you are also aware, it is doubtful that KSFL was in such a position. Data shows that it had some £1.3bn of cash in its balance sheet as of 9th October 2008 and a relatively low loan to deposit ratio.

Rather, KSFL was seized because it was feared that the company would not be able to meet its obligations to depositors due to the ongoing Icelandic situation. This is a totally different circumstance and it can be argued that under those conditions the 1986 Act has been over-ridden and its provisions do not apply. This raises the possibility that the depositors/Liquidator Provisionally/IOMGTreasury may have a case against HM Treasury for preferential release of the Company’s assets sensu strictu and out with the provisions of Article 27 of the Statutory Instrument No 2674.

“Ultimately this was a failure that started in Iceland and responsibility for banks in Iceland rests with the Icelandic authorities”. That is your statement, to which I would respond, is that really correct?

This incident began following The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, uttering those fateful words “The Icelandic Government — believe it or not — told me yesterday that they have no intention of honouring their obligations here.” This quote needs serious explanation as correspondence on this matter indicates this was never said, according to statements from your very own HM Treasury following requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

On the 1st of February a depositor wrote to the Treasury under the umbrella of the Freedom of Information Act. The depositor wrote;

Dear Sir or Madam,

On the 8th of October 2008 Alistair Darling made the statement that “The Icelandic government believe it or not, have told me yesterday they have no intention of honouring their obligations here.”

Please supply the document the Chancellor based this statement on. Or, supply transcript of a conversation, which evidently took place on the 7th of October, in which the Icelandic government confirms that they did not intend to honour their obligations.

Yours faithfully,
Etc.

The Treasury (Kate Jenkins) replied, on the 27th of February with the transcript of the well-known telephone conversation between Alistair Darling and the Icelandic Minister of Finance, Arni Mathieson. In the transcript, at NO POINT does Arni Mathieson mention anything about having 'no intention of honouring their obligation [to UK depositors]'.

The depositor wrote back to the Treasury's Kate Jenkins;

Dear Kate,

Thank you for taking the trouble to reply to my FOI request.

The transcript of the conversation (supplied as a result of this request) between Árni Mathiesen and Alistair Darling on the 7th of October has been in the public domain for some time. The Icelandic Minister of Finance admits that they are in a difficult position but DOES NOT say they did not intend to honour their obligations.

Can you confirm:

1) That no other conversation took place between Alistair Darling and Árni Mathiesen on the 7th of October 2008?
2) That there was no written correspondence between Alistair Darling and Árni Mathiesen on the 7th of October 2008?

Yours sincerely,
Etc.

The response the depositor received on 30th March 2009 from HM Treasury is damning.

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxx,

Freedom of Information Act 2000: Banks

You have previously made a request for a transcript of a conversation between Árni Mathiesen and Alistair Darling on 7th October 2008. Further to my response to you of 27 February 2009 on this, you asked on 2 March 2009 for confirmation that:

no other conversation took place between Alistair Darling and Árni Mathiesen on the 7th of October 2008.
there was no written correspondence between Alistair Darling and Árni Mathiesen on the 7th of October 2008.

  1. Following searches of our records, I can confirm that the Treasury does not hold a record of any further conversation or any correspondence on that date.

  2. If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. It will be helpful to us if you remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kate Jenkins

This flagrant disregard of the facts by the Chancellor needs an enquiry to substantiate why he presented a case in public that has been shown to be, at the very least, inaccurate. These are letters from your own Ministry and they don’t substantiate your ‘official’ reply, do they? This action started because of panic in HM Treasury and Downing St and errors of both judgment and actions in both.

As to the Depositors’ Compensation Scheme you describe, of what use is fifty thousand pounds when the UK Government has shorn me of half a million pounds? More to the point is that information on the subject formed no part of my original letter as I and many others are unsurprisingly fully conversant with the DCS. Further more, we are completely aware of just how flawed it is and that it is potentially subject to a legal challenge by the contributing banks! Evidently HM Treasury isn’t as well-versed in the minutiae and realities as are we depositors.

You rightly state that on “8 October the Financial Services Authority (FSA) determined that KSF, the UK subsidiary of Kaupthing, no longer met its threshold conditions for the purposes of its authorisation to accept deposits and was unlikely to be able to continue to meet its obligations to depositors”. What you don’t explain is that an ‘Arrow’ report is said to have been prepared by the FSA giving KSFUK a clean bill of health just one month prior to the UK Government's action in rendering this bank insolvent. When will the FSA publish the findings of this report? Were the FSC advised of this report and its contents and if so when and to whom was this information provided?

On what basis did the UK Government implement S.I 2674 thereby providing its Treasury minister with overriding control of more than 50% of KSFIoM’s assets, which were transferred with the assistance of the FSA for ‘safekeeping’ to the UK in the weeks preceding the UK Government’s action? We note that similar assistance was coincidentally also afforded to the Guernsey Regulator. This overarching prerogative was not simply withheld from the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) by Mr Darling during questioning in November 2008, but defiantly denied.

Court papers relating to the administration of KSFUK were sealed at the time the order was made to transfer assets from this bank to the Dutch subsidiary ING. This highly unusual step was implemented at the behest of the UK Treasury and remains in force today. Now that the adversarial nature of the relationship between HMG and Iceland is past why are these papers still sealed?

Why did the UK Treasury set up two, Bank of England, trust accounts almost two weeks before the events of 8 October 2008 in which money being transferred out of KSFIoM was secretly held? This money starved KSF of liquidity and as a direct result of UK Government action it could not meet its threshold arrangements.

Exactly how did the UK Treasury arrange the transfer of the retail business of KSFUK – a significant and complex transaction with a value of some £2.6 billion pounds (being the sum of deposits held by 160,000 Edge customers) within hours of the court order being made - to say nothing of the 22,000 Heritable customers also moved to ING whilst 10,000 KSFIoM customers were left stranded?

As I have made clear, you have left a great deal unexplained in your letter.

There is of course a moral dimension to this as well and a practical one, firstly KSFIOM money was lost in KSFUK. If it has been lost because KSFUK was run more like a hedge-fund rather than a bank, as has been suggested, then surely one has to question just what the FSA were doing about this. Although warned at the outset by a Singer Friedlander Director, Mr Shearer, about Kaupthing’s management, his concerns was ignored by the FSA.

It has now come to light that all the other countries which allowed Kaupthing to set up deposit-taking operations placed certain restrictions on dealing with Iceland. The FSA, on the other hand, allowed Kaupthing to expand their deposit-taking via Edge accounts at high rates, at a time when presumably it was getting more difficult to generate the profits to pay them, indicating the cash was needed for their balance sheet and was perhaps unsafe.

It would follow that the UK Government is morally liable to compensate KSF IoM depositors since it is clear that under CEO Hector Sants, it failed to monitor and regulate KSFUK in a way which would have prevented the loss of 50% of its assets. In spite of statements that attempt to show otherwise, KSFUK was a UK Bank under the UK Regulator not the Icelandic one. The same situation that HMG is so keen to emphasise about the Isle of Man jurisdiction! As such, it would logically follow that this is unquestionably a matter for HM Treasury and HMG.

Apart from the "Icesave" issue, KSF IoM was otherwise sound, then HM Treasury should compensate depositors in KSF IoM because our bank was brought down for the ’GREATER GOOD’ OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE ON THE MAINLAND - i.e it was akin to an act of war needed in defence of national interests. Why should the cost of this fall on the IOM depositors the vast majority of whom are British citizens too?

Finally there is the point that as things stand the asset sales and existing cash reserves etc., will see a fairly significant return in which case what on earth was HMG doing bringing our bank to a point where it could not trade because the UK cut off its funds.
No doubt this had some bearing on the The Economic Affairs Committee’s assertion that it will urge the Government to give key elements of the FSA's current role back to the Bank of England. Let’s remember that The Bank ceded its role as a financial regulator to the FSA in 1997 when Gordon Brown, then Chancellor, gave it independence over monetary policy. At the time, the then Governor Eddie George is said to have threatened to resign, warning Mr Brown that the decision could leave the financial system more vulnerable. How very prescient Eddie George has turned out to be.

You wrote: ‘You also raise concerns about restricted access to banking services in the UK for non-residents. There is no legal or regulatory barrier to banks providing services to non-residents, but many banks and building societies have decided not to do so. We understand this is largely on commercial, not regulatory grounds, and is driven chiefly by concerns about fraud prevention and additional administrative requirements in dealing with people abroad.

Treasury officials have made enquiries and we can confirm that the number of banks and building societies who are prepared to offer services to non-residents is small. It may partly depend on a firm's target market and whether an applicant can present themselves at a suitable branch to make an application in person rather than remotely.

The Government cannot offer a referral service to help non-residents. Instead the British Bankers Association has begun to offer an account finder service through its website at www.bba.org.uk. It is intended to help those who have difficulty in finding a suitable onshore account.’

You refer to the ‘restricted access’ to banking services in the UK, experienced by British Expatriates, and we would point out that the extent of this situation came to light following discussions on the experience of many expatriate depositors in both Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander [KSF] IOM and Landsbanki Guernsey [LG] which lead to extensive research by one of our members which exposed this practice in 55 out of 57 financial institutions surveyed.. The research summary was subsequently taken into evidence and forms part of the written Report of the TSC Banking Crisis Inquiry.

That summary quotes the misleading statement of Mr. Ian Pearson, MP, who stated during the House of Commons’ Icelandic Banking Debate, “On the question whether depositors in the Isle of Man or Guernsey had any choice in the matter of opening offshore accounts, or whether non-UK residents are forced to open accounts offshore, I can confirm that this is not the case. There is no legal bar under UK financial services regulation that would prevent a non-UK resident from opening a new bank account here. When an account is opened remotely, more onerous anti-money laundering checks are, quite properly, required because of the increased risks involved. This might well be a factor in the willingness of some UK banks to offer new accounts to non-residents. However, this would not be a burden for customers who move offshore but wish to retain existing accounts.”

Philip Robinson, Director, Financial Crime & Intelligence, FSA also says that, ‘neither the Treasury’s Money Laundering Regulations nor our rules prohibit a firm from taking on a UK citizen who is not resident in the UK as a customer. It is also important to note that guidance written for the financial services industry, by the financials services industry, also does not prohibit a bank from taking on a UK citizen who is not resident in the UK as a customer.’

The fact is that while there is indeed no legal bar to British Expatriates keeping or opening UK bank or building society accounts, the effect is the same – as both of the above speakers completely fail to acknowledge, it is those very institutions’ own Know Your Customer guidelines which prohibit British Expatriates from so doing.

There is considerable evidence from Expatriate members of both KSF IOM DAG and LG DAG to show that not only are Expatriates refused new onshore accounts but, in the vast majority of cases, are forced by their existing provider either to transfer their accounts to that institution’s offshore entity, or close them – and this is despite the fact that many have been well-known to the bank as customers for years, which completely undermines the credibility of any ‘identity verification’ argument.

Mr Pearson’s response fails to mention the extensive Know Your Customer identity and address substantiation demanded by those same bank’s and building society’s offshore branches, which require notarised copies of passports and residence visas, local utility bills, other bank account statements plus other substantial proof of both identity and permanent address. It is implausible that while financial institutions apparently find it impossible to perform identity checks on Expatriate applications on the mainland, it takes them only two or three weeks for these checks to be satisfactorily completed once the account is opened in their offshore branches.

Angela Knight of the British Bankers’ Association [BBA] commented, ‘I can confirm that there are no legal barriers nor regulatory requirements preventing the offering of cross-border services and some banks do offer these services to expatriates, based on their own commercial considerations.’ She then contradicted herself and confirmed the research findings by adding, ‘My understanding is that one bank is prepared to offer accounts to remote applicants.’

She continued, ‘It is also important to bear in mind that UK expatriates are treated no differently to other non-UK residents.’ An extraordinary statement which is breathtaking in its naivety. It is of no comfort for British Expatriates to hear that they are to be treated as if they were non-British, non-residents, who have no connection whatsoever to the United Kingdom – but unlike them, foreigners are not denied the right to bank in their own home countries by their financial institutions.

According to current, ongoing research: of the 66 countries defined by the World Bank as ‘High –Income Economies’, and others, the United Kingdom is the only country where its Expatriate nationals are denied banking facilities equal to those enjoyed by their fellow British citizens, in the home country.

On 15 May, 2009 the headline, ‘Bank Account access in the UK for Non Residents’ appeared on the BBA website, with the statement, ‘This webpage is designed to provide information for non-residents looking to enter banking relationships in the UK while continuing to reside outside UK.’

The links show two banks currently offering onshore bank accounts – Barclays’ subsidiary Barclays Wealth International and HSBC. Both banks offer exceptionally low interest rates of less than 1% on savings accounts, which is well below other institution’s rates offered both on and offshore. Both banks are clearly aiming at high net-worth clients and HSBC levies a monthly charge and demands a minimum balance of £5,000 for the privilege of providing an account. Neither banks’ facilities are appropriate for ordinary pensioners’ savings where interest is required to supplement meager state pensions, without excessive bank charges and other irrelevant ‘facilities’. This is far from a competitive range of options for Expatriates either, when compared to the building societies’ services and interest rates.

For whatever reason, HM Government continues to turn a blind eye and thereby condone this situation whereby British financial institutions perpetuate the inequitable and discriminatory treatment of one group of British citizens, for reasons dictated purely by commercial gain.

British Expatriate citizens who are ordinary working people or pensioners, are arbitrarily prohibited from opening UK bank or building society accounts under the guise, and as a direct result, of those institutions’ self-serving interpretation and selective implementation of the Anti Money-Laundering guidelines DESPITE the fact that no such prohibition exists in law.

The official line of the FSA, BBA and various Labour Cabinet Ministers continues to be that, ‘There is no legal or regulatory barrier to banks providing services to non-residents’. This ingenuous and politically expedient statement deliberately fails to acknowledge or address the issue whereby Expatriates are being denied their Human and Consumer Rights by commercial interests on the specious pretext of Anti Money Laundering compliance difficulties – a justification which, as the stringent ID verification processes of the offshore institutions shows, simply does not stand up under scrutiny.

One might be forgiven for wondering why HM Government continues to condone discrimination against one section of British citizens by permitting commercial financial institutions to effectively circumvent the spirit of British law under the guise of their own ‘guidelines’.

The time is long overdue that HM Government should step in to question the spurious justifications for this disgraceful practice which is engendered purely by corporate self-interest.

The authorities should move swiftly to curtail this inequitable situation and provide equal access to the whole range of UK bank and building society accounts for all UK citizens, including British Expatriates.

In conclusion, may I ask you to make sure that the First Lord and the Chancellor see this response and know that as a British subject I will not tolerate the devious approach to this matter that I have witnessed to date both in the UK and on the Isle of Man. I expect better from British Government Ministers and officials than I have witnessed to date.

Sincerely


Nice one - now where's my letter?

  • steveservaes
  • 13/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
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  • Tue, 02/06/2009 - 09:44

Nice one Expat
Did you borrow a couple of paragraphs from my letter?
I posted this somewhere but now can't find it!
Any idea where it is?
Steve


Expat

  • caledonia
  • 14/10/08 30/09/09
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 02/06/2009 - 07:51

Yes, another brilliant letter - thank you.


expat: brilliant letter

  • TykeinSingapore
  • 12/10/08 22/06/09
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  • Tue, 02/06/2009 - 01:26

Can I say what a brilliant letter you have composed. It would be great if we could get this into a newspaper or even an advertorial? Well done!


expat As usaul a brilliant letter..

  • fight theft
  • 10/10/08 28/05/13
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 01/06/2009 - 21:50

Wishing you the best and a thank you for all your efforts, and not giving up.
Let's hope this eloquent and rightfully effective letter gets the rightful responses it deserves to help in the return of our stolen funds.


....and in return we'd be happy to...

  • Anonymous
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  • Mon, 01/06/2009 - 21:42

....be treated as UK taxpayers on our world-wide earnings as per other countries, of course.


If it takes a lot of words to

  • IceCrusher
  • 14/10/08 25/10/11
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 01/06/2009 - 19:21

If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.


Half way there . . .

  • drglowry
  • 14/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Mon, 01/06/2009 - 14:57

A welcome development indeed! I have long wished for two things for Mr Darling:

  1. To be summarily dumped from office, preferably in disgrace, which looks as though may come to pass;
  2. To see him called to account for the misery he has caused all of us KSFIOM depositors and our families by dispossessing us. Hopefully, to end up singing soprano in a stiped suit.

Here's hoping!!!


What goes around comes around

  • chd
  • 13/10/08 30/09/09
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 01/06/2009 - 08:00

I have taken such joy in writing to our friend Darling suggesting that he now look into a place on Mugabe's cabinet. It would suit him so well. I haven't smiled so much in 8 months.

darlinga(?)parliament [dot] uk


Chancellor =Chancer

  • bobwin
  • 23/12/08 n/a (free)
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 01/06/2009 - 07:20

If he is dumped by Brown, it may be easier to call him to task.

Really, what an idiot--did they think they were "untouchables".

The man is dishonest and got found out.11th commandment?

We all knew he was economical with the truth and now there is proof-I guess Gordon was looking the wrong way when he promoted the man/mouse.

The Labour party are now clinging to the upturned boat for dear life and Tony must be thinking what a clever chap he was for getting out ahead of this situation.

I have no time for politicians of any persuasion and have little truck with the legal beavers either.

It is just so amusing to see how the mighty are fallen.

Nails and coffins come to mind.