2008-10-10 19:59:12 | Telegraph (UK)



Financial Crisis: Kaupthing blames collapse on British Government
By Rowena Mason
Telegraph:09 Oct 2008
Icelandic bank Kaupthing has blamed Britain for its collapse, claiming the Treasury's refusal to allow it to participate in the £500bn rescue package for UK lenders triggered its downfall.


Kaupthing ミ among Britain's 20 largest banks ミ became the third financial institution to be taken over by the Icelandic government this week, after Chancellor Alistair Darling seized its UK operation on Tuesday and ruled out help through the bail-out.


Sigurdur Einarsson, the bank's chairman, said the seizure of the UK arm directly led to the collapse of the entire group. "It is very sad, unfortunate and disappointing," he said.

同行のSigurdur Einarsson総裁は、イギリス事業部の差し押さえは、全グループの破綻を直接的に招いたと語った。

Meanwhile a fierce diplomatic row broke out between the UK and Iceland with Prime Minister Gordon Brown accusing Iceland of "completely unacceptable" behaviour by not recompensing UK savers in the failed Icesave bank. Mr Brown said he is freezing assets of Icelandic companies in the UK as a result.


Mr Einarsson said that Kaupthing wanted to take part in the UK government's rescue plan, but was rebuffed ミ the catalyst for its collapse just hours later.


"We are not Barclays, HBOS or Lloyds TSB, but I believe we are the twelfth largest bank in the UK and we were not allowed to participate in the rescue plan. We asked and the answer we got was a firm no," he said.


He added that a "significant number" of Kaupthing's 30,000 shareholders were British investors, whose stakes were wiped out when the Icelandic government put the bank into receivership yesterday.


The bank's high-profile investor clients have included entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz, chef Gordon Ramsay and property developers, the Candy Brothers.

同行の著名な投資家には、企業家のRobert Tchenguiz、シェフのゴードン・ラムズィー、そして不動産開発業者のキャンディー・ブラザーズが含まれる。

Around 800 jobs are now at risk at the failed UK arm, Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander, including workers in the Isle of Man, Surrey, Glasgow and Birmingham.

マン島、サリー、グラスゴー、バーミンガムの従業員を含め、破綻したイギリス事業者Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlanderでは、約800人が失業しそうになっている。

"It's an absolutely ridiculous situation," Mr Einarsson added. "I could blame the UK Chancellor, the Icelandic Chancellor or the financial regulators, but it doesn't help anyone."


Asked about Kaupthing's request to be helped under the terms of the bail-out package, a Treasury spokesman said it believed the bank was "not in a position to continue to operate".


Britain's involvement in the failure of Kaupthing descended into a diplomatic row after the Icelandic Prime Minister expressed his displeasure at the "not very friendly" attitude shown by UK authorities.


The Treasury made use of anti-terrorist laws to seize Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlander to ensure the stability of the UK financial system and to protect the interests of depositors and taxpayers.

イギリスの金融システムを安定化させるために、また、預金者と納税者の利益を保護するために、財務省はKaupthing, Singer & Friedlanderを差し押さえるに当たって、テロ防止法を適用した。

Asked whether relations with Britain had plunged to a new low, Mr Haarde said: "For some moments this morning, yes, when I realised terrorist laws were applied against us."


However Mr Brown told BBC TV: "What happened in Iceland is completely unacceptable. I've been in touch with the Icelandic prime minister, I've said that this is effectively illegal action that they've taken." Mr Haarde insisted relations were improving since a cordial phone call with Mr Darling confirmed finance ministers from both countries would meet to discuss their differences at an IMF meeting this weekend.


Mr Haarde urged people to have confidence in the remaining Icelandic companies that employ 100,000 workers in the UK.


Earlier this week the Icelandic regulator took over two other large banks ミ first Landsbanki on Tuesday and then Glitnir on Wednesday.




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