UK Treasury invokes anti-terrorism law to protect investors in Iceland bank

  • United Kingdom
  • 10/09/2008
  • Andrew Gilmore - Jurist

The British government on Wednesday froze nearly $4 billion in UK financial assets held by the failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki, exercising its powers under the 2001 Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act. One of the largest Icelandic banks, Landsbanki has enjoyed significant business from UK customers, including many local councils, through its British subsidiary Heritable Bank. Landsbanki was taken over by the Icelandic government Tuesday. BBC News has more. The New York Times has additional coverage.

Iceland has been hit hard by the global financial crisis that has emanated from the US subprime mortgage market. On Friday, the US House of Representatives passed a $700 billion financial rescue bill intended to limit the effects of the crisis on the US economy and international markets. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reiterated plans for a new economic stimulus package to “create jobs and address some of the most immediate consequences of the Administration’s serious mismanagement of our economy.” Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said in a statement that the committee would continue to investigate regulatory oversight and seek solutions “strengthening the housing sector, developing a second stimulus package, and restructuring the regulation of the financial sector.”