Getting Our Money Back From Iceland

I announced yesterday that we have recovered a further £1.36 billion from the Landsbanki estate in Iceland, which operated under the brand Icesave in the UK, following its collapse at the height of the financial crisis.

A key part of our long term economic plan, and tackling the national debt, is getting taxpayers’ money back from the financial crisis, including the collapse of Iceland’s banking system in 2008.

The Government has now recovered 85 per cent of our total claim against Landsbanki, and it is a personal priority for me to ensure that our taxpayers get the full outstanding amount back.

I have been leading the negotiations on the recoveries in a series of phone calls and meetings throughout the autumn, and pressing Ministers in Iceland to speed up the return of British taxpayers’ money; I was firm with Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson when I met him. That’s why I am delighted that yesterday we have received a further, and significant, payment from the Landsbanki estate.

The failure of the Icelandic banks cost taxpayers billions of pounds, when the Government took the decision to fully refund British retail savers with Icesave when the Icelandic deposit insurance failed to meet its obligations. with no certainty of ever getting the money back. The total payout through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme amounted to £4.5 billion and, including today’s payment, the government has now recovered £3.82 billion.

We remain committed to recovering the full outstanding amount of the British taxpayer’s claim from the Landsbanki estate, and I will continue to work hard to make this happen as soon as possible.