Published January 28, 2013
The court of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has ruled that Iceland did not break the law during the Icesave dispute.
Bloomsberg reports the court found that Iceland did not break the law when it denied foreign depositors in Icesave the right to withdraw their funds in 2008.
A statement on the website of the Prime Minister adds that the ruling does not change the fact that the management of the old Landsbanki will continue to pay the UK and Holland for the deposits the two countries covered over four years previous.
“It is cause for celebration that Iceland’s case has prevailed in the Icesave dispute,” the statement reads. “With the ruling of the EFTA court, an important milestone in this long story has been reached.”
When the banks collapsed in October 2008, Landsbanki made a fateful decision: Icelanders were able to withdraw from their deposits, but many – if not most – foreigners could not. The decision, EFTA believed, may have violated international law regarding equal treatment for all depositors in a bank, regardless of country of origin.
Had EFTA court found against Iceland’s favour, it could have paved the way for the UK and Holland to sue Iceland for up to 400 billion ISK (2.3 billion euros) in damages.