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Random ramblings of a programmer, photographer, journalist and runner

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laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout

Frozen Ice

...of course, one of the bonuses of the web is that it allows you to easily put a large chunk of your savings into an Icelandic savings bank. A Icelandic bank which, ironically, has now had its UK assets frozen by our government, after it collapsed.

I think it could be a while before I get a large chunk of my savings back, if I'm lucky enough to get them back at all. And I was just about to draw out a chunk of money to use for share dealing in this nice volatile stock market we've got...


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Eeee, sorry, that sucks.
Curious why you chose Icelandic bank, and when?
Hope you get your money out soon and safe.

I chose them from the top three recommended savings accounts a couple of years ago; they were paying a good rate of interest and were recommended by decent sources like the Motley Fool, among others. Their internet banking interface also worked better than many others, which was actually one of the reasons I chose them over one of the others (ING, from what I remember), whose registration process wouldn't even work in my web browser...

Aaah, sucks even more when you're in the boat because you were being proactive about finding a good deal and good interface rather than just leaving it where it is.

I am particularly pleased that our savings are split between various institutions now as no account contains anywhere near that limit of what government will guarantee on savings if there are problems/ collapse.

Some poor guy has all his savings in one of these, which is 75k or something, and government only guarantees a bit of that!

It's not dreadful. I have some liquid savings left, in something that should be as close to completely safe as you can get. And the bulk of my money is in my flat, which is a pretty good place for it to be, albeit in a very non-liquid form.

Aaah, sucks even more when you're in the boat because you were being proactive about finding a good deal and good interface rather than just leaving it where it is.

One of the reasons I moved a chunk of my money to them was that I had a pile of money (more than the compensation limit) sitting in one single UK savings account. The move to Icesave was just part of me splitting that up and moving it into a variety of different places, including rock solid safe places, savings accounts, and the stock market (which I count as a very long-term investment; we'll see how well my fund managers have fared when all the dust settles...)

So, while I may have temporarily lost some money, it looks like it'll come back, albeit sans some interest I could have been earning, and that's mostly because I was pro-active about doing exactly the right thing to cover my arse. So I don't feel too bad about my decisions. It does still shake you a bit when what you thought was your second-safest investment suddenly disappears overnight, though.

But I'd now like to join up with the "not spending much on Christmas presents" club even more than I did yesterday :)

I don't think you should feel bad at all... you're probably in a minority of less than a % or 2 of Brits who take the time to research options and then make the effort to do what seems to be sensible. This is just pure bad luck. OK go sign up on my presents thread, might encourage more others to also do same.

Blimey. That's 2 people on my friends' list in the same boat.

I take it you already know about the Icelandic update bit on the Money Saving Expert website, but just in case you don't: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/safe-savings#iceland

I'll cross my fingers for you too.

Ta, hadn't got around to finding that yet. I guess it makes sense, as they were recommending Icesave quite a lot, dammit.

Yeh, the other LJer I mentioned said MSE was one place they'd picked up Icesave recommendations. So it's the least the site can to help those who took up their advice!

Yes, it wasn't just that they were the original recommender -- it's also that when I carefully looked around about four weeks ago to see whether I might want to take my money out of Icesave, I was reassured by this blog posting of theirs, which carefully points out all the ways in which my savings were safe, even if the bank were to go tits-up, including mentioning the apparently-worthless Icelandic compensation scheme. Maybe if I'd spotted that it was posted on 1st April...

On the other hand, they're careful to cover themselves in that article, and hopefully will turn out to have given me the correct advice, i.e. I should get my money back even in this worst-case scenario, and if I'd taken it out of there and put it anywhere else, exactly the same thing could have happened anyway...

It's just a bit galling, really. I did everything the nice chancellor told me I should do, carefully saving up my money, making sure I didn't borrow more than I could pay back, and generally being financially responsible. And right at this moment, it seems that I'd have been better off blowing it all on computers and camera gear. At least I'd have some assets to show for it.

On the other hand, that is just at the moment, and it seems that aforementioned chancellor-now-PM, is basically saying "well, you did what I told you, so I'm going to make sure you don't get screwed." Which will be good. I just hope we don't see too many more failing banks, otherwise there's not going to be enough money on the planet to pay back all the people who've lost their savings.

You should be covered up to £35000 or £50000 depending upon when it all went wrong. The limit changed on Monday I think so you MIGHT be ok.
Anything above the limit you will have to see if you can reclaim from the Icelandic Government.
Apparently all Icelandic citizens are ok with a full refund.

The way it works is that I should have been covered by both the Icelandic guarantee and the British one, with the Icelandic one paying out first. I didn't have enough money in there to kick me over even the Icelandic limit, so it should all have been guaranteed by them.

As it is, it looks like the Icelandic compensation scheme, which was meant to be backed by enough actual money to cover things in the event of a disaster (unlike the Bristish one) is effectively empty, and Iceland as a country is only bailing out Icelandic savers. It looks like the UK government is planning on honouring every UK IceSave saver's money under its compensation scheme (thank you, Darling!), then suing Iceland for reneging on its compensation agreement.

Iceland as a country looks likely to have lost more money than its GDP in a fairly short space of time, which means most bets are off.

Thank you for your message, by the way; I didn't notice it until late this evening because I was in meetings all day. As you say, hopefully I should get my money back. Doubt it'll be in time for Christmas, mind...

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