Thousands of British savers with Landsbanki Guernsey may not get their money back, it emerged recently.
The bank, a subsidiary of Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which has been taken over by the Icelandic Financial Services Authority, did offer some of the best rates on offshore savings accounts. But now savers in both the UK and the Channel Islands are unable to access their money.
There is no deposit protection scheme in Guernsey, and Landsbanki Guernsey is not covered by either the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), or Iceland’s protection scheme, because it is registered in Guernsey.
Deposits with Landsbanki’s UK based subsidiary, Heritable Bank, have been taken over by ING Direct, whilst UK customers of Icesave, the online arm of Landsbanki, have had all of their deposits guaranteed by the Treasury. But today a Treasury spokeswoman said the plight of British savers with Landsbanki Guernsey was “a matter for the Guernsey Government.” A spokeswoman for the FSCS, which guarantees deposits of up to £50,000, confirmed the scheme does not apply to banks based in the Channel Islands.
One of the popular protest websites, LandsbankiGuernseySavers.co.uk was threatened by Nominet, the UK domain name registrar with being took down due to “registration irregularities.”
Shabana Rehman from Nominet, the UK [government controlled] domain registrar, bombarded the webmaster with demands to make changes to the registration data. The webmaster operates dozens of websites and he told The Real Deal, “Never before have I encountered this kind of behaviour from the registrar Nominet. They gave me a window of just days to give them additional information that has never been requested for any of our websites before. We altered the data then e-mailed confirmation and also faxed confirmation, yet still they removed the website without notice. When we called them, the employee dealing was mysteriously ‘on leave’.”
He went on to say, “Nominet made it clear from the start that they were acting on “information received” and later denied receipt of the faxes and e-mails we sent.”
The Landsbanki Guernsey Savers site countered Nominet’s underhand behaviour with the offer to publish all correspondence between them, immediately relocate the website to the Russian Federation and issue a press release on what they claim was a government attempt to gag the site. Nominet put the site back on line the same day.
The site hosts highly controversial – yet factual – information about everyone from Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling down to the shadowy Lyndon Trott, the Guernsey big cheese who was on a jolly in the Orient while Guernsey’s financial credibility collapsed. It was clearly going to be an unpopular site with the government from the start. Some democracy the UK is to allow its departments to covertly delist websites it finds too close to the bone – internet censorship in England in 2008 is alive and well.
The employee responsible for this site being took off air at Nominet was Shabana Rehman (Who can be contacted at: Shabana.Rehman@nominet.org.uk or by telephone at +44 1865 332244)
The webmaster had the foresight to locate the servers for LandsbankiGuernseySavers.co.uk in the United States, out of the reach of the corrupt UK Labour government. The sites data was not compromised.
See also our other more in depth article on Landsbanki Guernsey.
Update: After considerable wrangling with Nominet about their unfair practices and inept staff, the webmaster finally got hold of members of staff who actually were helpful. Landsbanki Guernsey Savers is now back online!