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Kaupthing criticism in Times

The Isle of Man and Guernsey found themselves criticised by the United Kingdom press at the weekend, over investors who have lost money in bank collapses.

An article in the Times highlighted the plight of those who lost cash in Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander here, and Landsbanki in Guernsey.

The piece attacked the way investors had been treated and said the message to UK savers was: 'If you value safety, you should give offshore banks a wide berth'.

The paper’s deputy personal finance editor, David Budworth, said the Isle of Man was at least trying, and saved his strongest words for the Channel Islands.

He said Guernsey had belatedly introduced a 'hopelessly inadequate compensation scheme', which wasn’t open to Landsbanki victims.

Earlier this month, a major report by the International Monetary Fund said the Isle of Man's financial sector was well-regulated and supervised, and offered a high level of compliance with global standards.

The five-yearly IMF report rated it among the top countries in the world in terms of the measures it's taken to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

It recommended the Manx government continued to build defences against economic turmoil, but described the Depositors Compensation Scheme, designed to protect bank customers, as 'unusually extensive for a small jurisdiction'.

Despite the ringing endorsement from the IMF, Treasury Minister Allan Bell recently said he was convinced there would be more attacks on the Isle of Man's finance industry.

He was speaking after reports the pre-budget statement in the United Kingdom would contain further moves against the 'offshores' to stop the activities of what were termed 'tax cheats'.

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