Our Stories

Our Stories

These are the stories of real people who face financial ruin, or at best considerable hardship, as a result of the collapse of Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander (IoM). These people deposited money with a reputable and highly rated bank for safe keeping and to earn interest. They are not stock market investors who know they can lose when they invest but prudent savers. Most (86%) are British citizens and most (77%) are over 45. 64% of depositors have more than £50,000 at risk. Some of the stories are harrowing; some demonstrate the British "stiff upper lip". Many are understandably angry. Please read them. We welcome your support.

Years of savings

A British citizen, I have been an expatriate working around the world for the last 17 years. During that time I kept my money with Bradford & Bingley International, IOM. In July I began to get concerned about them and so I closed my two accounts at BBI and opened a sterling and a euro account with KSF IOM. Whilst I was right to be concerned about BBI, with hindsight I should of course have left my money where it was. We have lost a total of around £150,000 and it is a very important part of our savings for the future. I am currently back in the UK and out of work, looking for a new job. We were leaving our money in the Isle of Man until we know whether my next job will be in the UK or abroad.

Thank you very much to Mat and others for setting up this website and for everyone who has contributed information on the other two main forums. I agree that there is more strength in numbers and that together we must make an impact on the powers that be in IOM, UK and Iceland. I will be contacting my MP and also writing to the other main authorities. Keep sharing everyone and let's be positive!

why i put money in

I saw this site heavily advertised, both on Island and on all sorts of websites. Reseacrhed it and believed the risk to be minimal - although I am aware that no bank is totally secure.

I put 7k In which was to be used to fund my wifes maternity period so that she can have a year off with our baby (now 6mths old).

Tried to move 4k out last sunday on line with a BACS transfer - went out on 7th but never reached my account.

I know my loss is a lot less than others on here, but I have been working two jobs to get his saved and now i very upset - both with myslef for putting the money in, and of course with the bank - especially for not transferring my money - it was an online transcation which I assume must be automated - so somebody somewhere put a stop on it.

I cant get through on phone lines which is a frustration.

One thing that really angers me is that I know staff in there - one told me (and I wont name him / her) that they transferred all of their money out on wednesday - how was this possible when mine didnt move?

I understand my money is nothing like the amounts some people have lost, but at the end of the day they were my savings.

Hopefully the depositors scheme will kick in ASAP and we wont all be hanging around waiting for months / years to get the money.

I am wiriting to my MHK to tell him about my situation and would urge everybody else to.

I had a Derbyshire Manx Bond

I had a Derbyshire Manx Bond maturing 31 Jan 2009 for £106000 plus old Derbyshire account for £108000

2 DEVESTATED PENSIONERS

Both my parents entire life savings were in Kaupthing IOM when it was robbed!!!
I being their only son am now faced with trying to support their retirement on my small salary as a 3 years service police constable.
Im being torn apart at the sight of witnessing both of them are wandering around in total shell shock, they are the shells of their former selves.
My mother is constantly breaking down at the prospect of having to give up the house she has lived in for 25 years and where she had dreamed of seeing out her final days.
My dad who worked tirelessly 6 days a week in some of the most hostile countries in the world for the last 30 years, who missed out on a family life to ensure his and my mother's happy twilight years, is now faced with the prospect it all being for nothing.
Kaupthing IOM and the Icelandic goverment have destroyed what should be the happy later years of their lives, I will hold the British goverment responsible for this occurence too if they are complicit in failing to uphold their duty to protect 2 of their loyal Britsh citizens!!! The same goverment who's laws i uphold are now attempting to shy away from their duty to uphold my parents rights, they have been robbed, come on Gordon Brown, we voted for you to police us internationally, do your bloody job!!!

same

so sorry for you, I am in the same situation.
My mum had just sold her house on the isle and retired. She now has nothing and is in a mess. I cant support her on my money although i will do whatever i can. No house and no savings. Its too much to deal with. We need to stick together and fight for them!

Deposits Lost

$60,000

Deposited my life savings

Deposited my life savings there 3 weeks ago. Biggest mistake of my life. I have never experienced such anxiety before. I can't eat or sleep.

Forced offshore!

Hi

Opened one year bond three months ago, in the process of getting all of my eggs out of one basket!

Tried to open accounts in uk but unable as no uk address. I earn in sterling so made sense to find sterling account, hence offshore. No tax benefit or better rate from having account in UK.

Must be a lot of expats with sterling life savings etc in same boat, and would think Uk gvnt might be more sympathetic to those forced offshore than choosing for other reasons. Further point, Kaupthing iom failed becase its asssts in the uk were frozen, by Uk Gvnt!

Good luck, thankyou for support website.

Steve

ALL GONE?

thank you for this website, maybe we can all get some information that might actually help, and not just further confusion!!

I have a considerable 1YEAR BOND with IOM. Nearly made it - it was up in December 2008!! Read on another website hat calls were being taken at the branch - you probably all know this, but this is a mail box operation, the mail box is FULL, and they only re-direct you round and around the same message. It does request a mail box number be entered - but if you're like me, you probably dont have one to enter, so round and round you go.

PLEASE if any one does have any luck, please post on this site.
Thank you and hope to hear some news soon.

C.A.

60+K Brit in Dubai. Telephone

60+K Brit in Dubai. Telephone transfer on 06 October never happened.

was in the process of closing the account

I am a British citizen who has been working overseas for the past 10 years in Central America for a humanitarian organisation. Saved approx. £35,000 which was put aside with the Derbyshire offshore, since I was overseas and with a no-tax code.

When the Derbyshire was taken over by Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander I was in the process of moving back to the UK and thought that I'd sort this out in due course since, having moved back to the UK (and would be paying tax) I thought it would be better to move the funds into a normal tax-paying account.

Due course (of course) took its time. 11/09 I sent a letter to Kaupthing IOM informing them that I wanted to close the account as I had moved back to the UK and asking them to transfer the funds (by now £27K) to a UK-based Kaupthing Edge account. On 16/09 I was sent an email by Kaupthing advising that I would need to open an Edge account on line. I did so, and received an email dated 23 September confirming that it was open and another email with password etc a couple of days later, together with a letter posted to my home address.

On 05/10 I tried calling Kaupthing IOM several times. No reply. I then sent an email on 6th requesting that they now transfer the funds. No reply. No calls were ever responded to, even by a recorded message and I began to get suspicious - and nervous since the Landsbanki business was breaking news.

I wonder whether the fact that I was in the process of closing the account way before the collapse of the bank counts for anything - done in good faith due to change in circumstances.

SIP pension

I am glad it is not just me, your stories are heartening, i have been reading on MS site also, i invested only four weeks ago a substantial amount in KSF OIM account ,which is connected to my sip UK pension,they had up until the 11th hour a good long term rating backed up by kaupthing,with good interest which i considered was better than some uk banks, i have been trying to access my money from th 1st of october, due to it being a trust acc,i sent a withdrawral letter as requested, which i think was then held i would say for at least 3 days without actioning my request, i had a mail on th 7th after 6pm saying they have now located my letter and the funds will be sent tomorrow 8th the rest is history.part of my money was held in a 12 month deposit which they said i could not access. I continued to receive mails saying the bank was in a strong financial position, as i said in hindsight very bad move of mine. Will fight to the death if neccessary. I have previously lost my shares in BB, this seems to be never ending Matt keep your chin up!

My terrible situation - what can I hope for!!!

I was moving from Oxford and had sold my house and put it in KSF IOM as savings to take it out for my new house while I waited. I am now without any money apart from very little to live on. I have a 4 month old baby and our life is in turmoil. I am speechless and sleepless and my family inconsolable. My amount is many times over what is being offered as a compensation!!!! Tears. I hope UK authorities will step in to help out. This is the only realistic proposition. I am going to drop an email to all the contact addresses on this website. My heart goes out to all in my situation, Mat I know your feeling, believe me as I am sat here watching my life unfold in front of my eyes. As a current UK tax payer and having my savings temporarily put in KSF IOM, I don't know how much I can lobby and how to do this.
I did contact the KSF IOM branch and I cannot believe that I trusted their pack of lies posted below sent by email to me on 26th Sept 2008

Dear Sir
With regards to the security of the bank, please find attached our company profile. I have also noted some information below: - Our recently published accounts for Q1 2008 confirm that the Bank is very well capitalised. Kaupthing's Tier 1 ratio was 9.1% at quarter end, which is one of the highest capital ratios by banking standards in Europe.
Kaupthing has no direct exposure to the US sub prime market.
The Bank has a clearly stated objective of having ongoing sufficient secured liquidity to repay all maturity obligations for at least 360 days. As can be seen on the attached, this objective is clearly met.
Kaupthing Bank hf continues to enjoy strong independent credit ratings, which are currently:
Long Term
Short Term
Moody's
A1
P-1
Fitch:
A-
F2
Not only are all deposits held with Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander ("the Bank") in the Isle of Man covered by the Depositors Compensation Scheme contained in the Isle of Man Banking Business (Compensation of Depositors) Regulations 1991, they are also fully (100% of the deposit with no upper limit) guaranteed by Kaupthing Bank hf i.e. our parent. A copy of this parental guarantee has been lodged with the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission.
I trust this to be the information required, but should you have any further queries regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Kind regards


Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) Limited. Registered in the Isle of Man No 3519c.

Licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission for Banking and

Investment Business.

Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority for UK Mortgage Business only.

Registered address Samuel Harris House, 5-11 St Georges Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM99 1SN

How I managed to get in this mess

Money deposited in KE IoM instant access savers account as an interim from our UK house sale, from there to used / transferred into Euro's as our only source of income and stage payments for the refurbishment of our retirement home, which at present a former watermill and a ramshackled shell. We are both mid fifties so little chance of being able to save / work / get back to the comfortable position of just enough behind us so as not having to worry about how to pay the next terms school fees or the lack of any real pensions, our old property was our pension fund.
We like many others that will be posting here, have worked bl**dy hard for the last 30 odd years to get to this position and to see it vanish just when we thought we'd made it AAaaaarrggghhh

Couldn't open new accounts in Uk or abroad to hold the monies as now classed as having no fixed abode the "new" property is classified as an industrial building therefore not acceptable to banks for personal account/s. Trying to open any account in Uk or mainland Europe with no fixed address options :- always passed over to the offshore division or in most cases simply refused. Even with the KE IOM we had to go through endless questionnaires / forms / identity checks and confirmation of where the funds were coming from all this only 3 weeks ago --- we could of course have left it in the UK current account with all the risks that involves - hindsight much less risk of being cleaned out of the few hundred thou..by scammers -- than this semi legalised whatever it turns out to be.

I guess luckier than some (Mat I really feel for you) at least I have a pile of stones and a bit of land in France to call my own and I don't owe anyone anything - but of course that will change very soon. Less than £2K left in cash and winters coming no idea how we are going to get through - back to UK and stay with relatives I suppose. Neither of us have a job now, I gave that up when we sold the UK house to go live the dream and my wife is disabled. I reckon I had / have 5>7 years of useful hard graft left in me to complete the refurbishment and conversion of the mill before old age took it's toll. I estimated 3>5 years for the project to be completed and we would have a nice home and small easily managed hydro-electric generating business which would fund us through till they hammered the final nail in.

Affects on the family - too early to tell, the eldest is old enough to have left home and take care of herself, the youngest 2 are at boarding school safely away from the current inner London carnage thanks to proceeds from the house sale. Fees are paid for this term, the fees for the rest of this year and next are locked in UK based bonds so safe - after that ????

My French is nowhere near the necessary standard to hold a position there - and anyway don't think there's much call for mechanical engineers where we are, that means back to UK or even further afield have to see what's going in the current climate.

Forgot to add we are still UK tax payers - although not sure now - as no money coming in to pay tax on

Despair and bewilderment

We had recently moved to Australia, bringing just enough money to pay for immediate expenses and leaving the rest with Bradford & Bingley. We had to open an offshore current account to transfer our savings via when exchanging for Aussie dollars. KSF (IOM) looked stable, safe and ok so we opened an account with them. We had both worked hard for many years to save and had never been reckless or spendthrift. We'd never had loans and were careful to ensure our Mortgage was well within our means.

Just over a week ago we transfered the money (£161K - our lifes savings) to KSF in preparation of transfering it here using Ozforex.

On wednesday, unaware of the events happening, i phoned KSF to verify that i would be able to Fax a Telegraphic Transfer instruction and to verify my 'Codeword'. KSF confirmed that it would not be a problem and verified my Codeword was correct. I logged in to Ozforex, performed a 'spot deal' for £150K and sent the Telegraphic Transfer fax to KSF.

Then KSF ceased.

When we heard the news we initially went into complete denial. How could this happen? Dont be silly this happens to other people. I even had (i am ashamed to admit) a tinge of 'whew, just made it! Shame about the others'.

However, as the truth became clear and it dawned on me that we had just lost everything, the nausea started. How was i to tell my family? What were we going to do? We're in a new Country and all of a sudden pennyless. Last night was awful. To see real fear in the eyes of people you love most and who depend on you is gut wrenching. I was physically sick. I have lost our future.

As the shear scale of this bank-heist has unfolded, along with the very realisation that we most probably will never see any of that money again, the despair has turned to a numb sadness. I am unable to sleep and now have earplugs in to block out the sound of crying.

But the primary emotion is now fear. Who knows if we will survive this as a familiy. Love can hold people together in the most difficult of circumstances but when it dawns on us that I have single handedly lost everything that we worked so hard to save..... This has destroyed us.

... and the torture continues

I thought that Amnesty International had just about successfully wiped out torture in 'western' Countries (Except the US, obvously).

But what Brown and Darling are doing is slowly, steadily and unrelentingly killing me. Since Friday the 10th, each day has brought new horribleness. Each time we run out of a basic item we, as a family, cry. Toothpaste was a real killer - without toothpaste things really are bad; we have taken to chewing small tea-tree branches (snapped from the park down the road where we now steal the toilet paper from).

My heartbreaker today was when i was presented with a slightly wrinkly Orange that has been taken out of a supermarket bin. 'I saved this because you looked hungry and sad' - that was a mega adams-apple quiverer.

We are surviving. We really are surviving. It is only when forced, you realise what a wasteful society we live in. We now have sources of day-old bread (why throw that out!?) and fruit/veggies. Butter ran out a long long time ago and jars/tins (Vegemite, beans etc etc....) will go by Friday.

But I fear Saturday 25th October 2008. Saturday will be so pivotal in my life that i actually get butterflies in my stomach when i think about it. That is the day that we find out what happens to this family; we decided at the end of last week that for everyones sake Saturday the 25th would be crunch day with three possible outcomes. It is the day we find out what happens to our lifes savings and the day the rent is due.

  1. An announcment in Court says that all depositors will get their money back within, say, 2 weeks.
    We all stay together and turn this unfortunate episode into an 'adventure' & I will return to the original plan of job hunting.

  2. The court proceedings are postponed.
    This scenario has been a real hard one to come to terms with. But we would HAVE to split. I would stay in Australia but the family would return to the UK and stay with relatives. Many reasons. Not least because this is the address registered with KSF!! I will stay and get a job in a shop or pub or something, moving into a small bedsit (and get mail re-directed). Family will return to UK and stay with reletives. What happens after that is anyones guess.

  3. Court liquidates KSF.
    This will just destroy us as a family. It really is as simple as that. Money doesnt buy happiness and i buy up to that. But only above a certain level - IE. Being able to live comfortably; no luxuries but at least a roof we own and enough to give the kids a bit of a life. The IOM DCS is a sick joke and not worth the paper it is written on - probably done to boost votes at the time or something (BCCI shows that it amounts to 20 years of the odd cheque for £50 etc....) - so liquidation would amount to a loss of £161000. We have discussed what we will do but every possibilty is depressing. We will probably return to the UK and split up. The details and reasons are complex and all too horrible to discuss; we love each other to bits but we have to think of others.

Brown and Darling have no idea of the heartbreak they have directly caused. To them it will just have been an ego boosting task they did as part of their daily job - bet they even joked about 'terrorist Icelandics'; to our family (and many many people like us) it was devastaing. I almost wish i was a tax dodging fat cat because at least i'd take this as a slap in face for being naughty! But i am not, i was forced to have an 'Offshore' bloody bank account by the very people who triggered the downfall.

My only saving grace has been this website. Otherwise......?

Matt

Stories

Having read Mat's and your other stories, please forgive me if what I'm about to say sounds trite. One of the first things my husband said, when we discovered our losses, was: "Don't let this destroy US." This tragedy (for that's what it is) is going to put an enormous strain on us and the relationships we have with our loved ones. Let us be constantly aware of that and stop it from becoming anymore destructive than it already is. We need to be mature in the way we now relate to each other, giving support and comfort. This is NOT OUR FAULT. There are people who should be strung up by their sensitive bits, but they aren't on this forum. Mat, YOU did not lose your future. Some politicians lost it for you, but I'm stating the obvious here.

All the best to all of you. I hope we can all find a way through this mess.

posting on behlaf of fellow depositor

We are UK residents and tax payers, age 56 and 58, from Yorkshire, sold our
business here where we worked 7 days a week and employed over 40 staff,
having paid Income tax, Ni, Vat, Capital Gains etc. We thought we would take
it a bit easier, put £200,00 into the Derbyshire building society, spoke to
the staff there several times before placing the money with them they sent
forms out and explained how safe it was i have proof of that conversation,
100% guaranteed by parent company. Spoke to them on the 16th, 20th and 26
Nov, and they never said that the business was up for sale of that it was in
the process of being sold. They opened us a one year bond with them on the
23rd Nov 2007, and I have it confirmed from the FSc IOM that in fact they had
agreed to sell the business on the 19th Nov 2007. So why were they still
saying it was the Derbyshire and taking monies under that name, and still
actively advertising bonds in Nov. The first we knew about the sale was when
KSF wrote to us in February saying they had our monies and our account, and
terms and conditions remained the same. We were never informed by the
Derbyshire of the sale or given the chance to remove our savings. We would
never have put money with the Derbyshire if they had been honest with us and
said that they were selling out. We have a tax bill due in January of
£71,900 and bills outstanding at the moment of £30,000 and we were relying
on that money to pay these bills. As it is our only source of income. We
wrote to the Derbyhsire, Graham Picken chief exec said, we did not have to
inform you that we were selling out neither did we need your permission. His
letter boiled down to "sorry you are in this mess but it is not my problem".
Like you we are having sleepless nights and just don't know where we will get
the money from to pay the inland revenue and others. We have put our house
up for sale in the hope of being able to raise the money to pay our bills. I
am just debating seeing the doctor as i am only getting 2 hours sleep per
night and all your waking hours are spent worrying, its making us both ill.
It is wrong that the Derbyshire executives will get a 1 million pound pay out
in December when they have left people like us in this situation and the Gov
should stop these fat cat payouts.

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