Finance ministry sells Landsbanki debt to clear Icesave loan

The Dutch state says it has got back the ‘full amount’ of money made available to the Icelandic authorities in 2008 to compensate savers who lost their cash when internet bank Icesave collapsed.

The finance ministry said in a statement on Wednesday the central bank had sold its remaining claim on Icesave parent Landsbanki to investors for €623m. They hope to make a profit on the deal by juggling interest rates.

Some €811m had already been repaid by the Iceland authorities. This means the Netherlands has recovered the full €1.43m lent to Iceland, the finance ministry said.


The sum does not include interest on the loan and the Dutch central bank is currently embroiled in a court case to recover the estimated €100m in interest, according to the Volkskrant.

‘I am glad that by making this sale quickly, the Dutch state has its money back,’ finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in a statement.

Landsbanki and Icesave attracted thousands of savers from the Netherlands and Britain by offering high interest rates.

After the bank collapsed, the Dutch and British governments effectively paid back savers under the banking deposit guarantee scheme and then asked for the money to be repaid.


However, Dutch city and provincial councils which had invested money in Icesave are angry about the national government’s deal because their debts are not included.

They lost some €166m when Icesave collapsed because their savings were not covered by the guarantee scheme.

The finance ministry and central bank will help others who lost money when Icesave collapsed sell their claim on the bank, broadcaster Nos said.

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