Panorama item on how Darling & Brown rescued the banking industry

  • expatfrance1
  • 15/10/08 31/05/09
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Posted: Tue, 23/12/2008 - 05:48

Story about how HBOS and RBS were near to collapse in early October and how Alistair & Gordon flew into the rescue to save them.

Interesting quote from Darling at the end:-

"We couldn't get ourselves into a situation where you're simply fixing one problem because the problem was then moved to somebody else and you know we just couldn't allow that to carry on happening,"

So what did he do, just moved the problem to Iceland and the Isle of Man.

Suggest we start writing to Panorama to tell them the truth.

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I have just posted this comment on the Panorama website.

  • tonycBrisbaneOz
  • 12/10/08 31/05/13
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  • Sun, 04/01/2009 - 01:30

(Also posted on Robert Preston's "How our Banks Were Rescued", comment 318 if approved)

I am a British expatriate who has seen his life savings disappear as a result of the UK government action on the 8th of October 2008. Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling might have saved the Banking industry on the UK mainland but they have done it at the expense of Iceland and thousands of expatriate British savers who are not allowed to open bank accounts on the UK mainland.

Towards the end of the interview Alistair Darling is quoted as saying

"I was very clear even before the turbulence of that week that whatever we did, we had to do it for the entire banking system. We couldn’t get ourselves into a situation where you’re simply fixing one problem because the problem was then moved to somebody else and you know we just couldn’t allow that to carry on happening."

But he has not only allowed it to happen he is also the minister in charge of a government department (HM treasury) that has actually participated in shifting the problem somewhere else. Firstly his comment on the on the 8th of October "The Icelandic government believe it or not, have told me yesterday they have no intention of honouring their obligations here." This caused a run on Icelandic Banks. As far as I know he has not been willing or able to disclose the source of this information. The Icelandic authorities have denied his assertion and the transcript of his conversation with the Icelandic Finance Minister this lack of intent is not mentioned. Secondly, statutory instrument 2008 2674 was used to seize the assets of Kaupthing Singer Friedlander UK (KSFUK). At that time Kaupthing Singer Friedlander Isle of Man (KSFIOM) itself had a substantial deposit with KSFUK, in this case £550m. This seizure cause the collapse of KSFIOM as it was now no longer able to meet its obligations to depositors and its banking licence was withdrawn.

Alistair Darling has not, to my knowledge, answered numerous queries by MPs on this matter and has not even sent a "form" reply to my numerous letters.

Additionally, Gordon Brown has made false statements about the treatment of British savers.

On the 23rd of November he said on the BBC politics show "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". This does not include expatriate savers who are forced to use Crown Dependencies because they cannot open bank accounts on the UK mainland. I am a British saver who's savings have not been looked after.
And, in Prime Ministers Question time on the 10th of December he said that “not one depositor actually lost any money in Britain”. This is also untrue. Again under statutory instrument 2008 2674 the UK government has seized money on deposit in Britain belonging to KSFIOM and thereby their depositors, this money is currently under control of the UK treasury.

Alistair Darling is confused about tax status of Crown Dependencies. On the 3rd of November he made the comment (possibly attempting to scapegoat those who are forced to use crown dependencies) “We need to have a long hard look at the relationship between this country and a tax haven sitting in the Irish sea.” As a permanent resident in Australia I am liable for tax on income arising anywhere in the world, this includes income from my Isle of Man account. I imagine this is the case in many other countries. On the Directgov website on the 'Tax on foreign savings and investment income' page it states quite clearly that “Income counts as 'overseas income' if it comes from outside England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So income from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man counts as overseas income too.” If the Isle of Man is independent of the UK why would it be expected to forward tax revenues to the UK treasury? Other countries don't forward their tax revenues to the UK treasury. In fact the UK itself is a tax haven. Many very wealthy foreign individuals have been attracted London recently precisely because the UK tax regime has been structured so they can avoid paying tax.

A survey on the Depositors Action Group website reveals the following: The vast majority, 80% had less than £250,000, 17% had between £250,000 and £1 million and 3% more than than £1 million. Hardly the financial profile of "city slickers" or "fat cats".

From the websites of the Depositors Action Group (1), BBC radio 4 ipm(2), BBC Video Nation (3), see website references below, I know of people who have been made destitute as a result of the UK government's action. You will probably find other examples here:

If the depositors of KSFIOM get 100% of our deposits back it will in spite of UK government action not because of it, unlike other British savers.

Website References


  • Julienne
  • 16/10/08 31/08/09
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  • Sun, 04/01/2009 - 10:51

I could not agre with you more - a fabulous letter - thanks for the links I shall be writing to them all.

Panorama report 22 December 2008 John Varley, Barclays boss

  • homeless
  • 18/10/08 01/01/16
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  • Sun, 04/01/2009 - 08:32

Tony well said, hope Panorama take it up.

Whilst looking at Robert Preston's report I also listened to the following report by John Varley

Barclays boss - John Varley

"This is a public relations crisis for the banking industry, you have to have a banking industry in which consumers have trust and in some cases that trust has broken down.

Now if I ask myself do I feel that the industry should be self confident about recreating that trust through time, I do feel that, but it starts by saying sorry. It starts by admitting things went wrong, not everywhere, there are plenty of banks in the world in whom (and I hope Barclays is one of them) in whom customers have trust. But if you look at the industry as a whole, and if I speak as a member of the industry rather than as the Chief Executive of Barclays, I absolutely have to say we should share our portion of responsibility, we have to recreate trust. I say that not just because I am a selfish banker, I say it because if the world is going to grow at 4% economic growth over the course of the next decade, which is what the world needs to do, then risk taking by the banks and the successful operation of liquid, trusted, capital markets it an indispensible component of that recovery".

Now wouldn't it be nice if the powers that be took note of this and said "sorry" to us, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, the FSA, the FSC, Iceland, the IOM. So far I haven't even received any statement of account let alone anything faintly resembling an apology for the turmoil we all find ourselves in. As a group we will continue to keep ourselves in the public eye and hopefully later in the month some light will show at the end of the tunnel.

Happy New Year to everyone !

post it to all three govts

  • hippychickrobbed
  • 03/11/08 31/05/09
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  • Sun, 04/01/2009 - 08:36

homeless why dont you post that to all 3 govts, icleand, uk and isle of man...

Post it to all three governments

  • homeless
  • 18/10/08 01/01/16
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  • Sun, 04/01/2009 - 12:19

Good idea Hippychickrobbed, feed back what is being said in the media and ask for their comments ! Thanks for the prompt.


  • hippychickrobbed
  • 03/11/08 31/05/09
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  • Sun, 04/01/2009 - 12:39

thats how we will haunt them , rock their consciences, they are the architects of our misery....

Cant seem to find

  • bellyup
  • 10/10/08 09/01/10
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  • Sun, 04/01/2009 - 02:07

Well done.
Cant seem to find the Panorama website.
Please Can you put a link to this as well.

Panorama Links

  • tonycBrisbaneOz
  • 12/10/08 31/05/13
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  • Sun, 04/01/2009 - 04:33

Unbelievable! Just aired on BBC World!!

  • Emabroad
  • 10/10/08 30/08/09
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  • Fri, 26/12/2008 - 21:29

This interview has just been aired on BBC World, which I get down here in Mexico. I too picked up the comments you mention, but also - and I feel, more significantly, the Darling boy's comment that this was not a new problem and that he'd been aware of the precarious state of the financial sector since August last year !!

Peston tried to catch him out but Darling's a cool customer and handled the questions rather better than expected.

Yes, let's lobby Peston with our story - especially after the 'can't fix one problem etc.,' comment by Darling. I'll get writing again.

HBOS and RBS were near to

  • go mann
  • 10/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Tue, 23/12/2008 - 11:34

HBOS and RBS were near to collapse in early October and how Alistair & Gordon flew into the rescue to save them.

For which I shall be eternally grateful, as most of my liquidity was with BOS ... I was apparently within a whisker of losing both of my major deposits in the space of a week. I certainly pick them!!


  • merlin
  • 14/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Tue, 23/12/2008 - 10:06

After watching Panorama last night, I thought perhaps we should all write to Robert Peston. (see Peston's blog BBC) to see if he can help with our cause. He seems to me to be a journalist that everyone respects and the credit climate seems to be his topic right now.