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Icelandic government now in control of Landsbanki

News that the Icelandic government has seized control of the country's second largest banking operation, Landsbanki, does not bode well for the immediate future of the Icelandic financial sector. While normally this would not have registered in the UK press it seems as though many thousands of UK customers have become embroiled in the saga.

Landsbanki has an internet business, which is also under the control of the government, called Icesave which operates in the UK. It appears that many UK residents had been attracted by the higher than normal interest rates offered by the service but they seem to be paying the price now. As part of the nationalisation of Icesave's parent company the Icelandic authorities have announced a freeze on all deposit and withdrawals from the internet banking operation.

While there does not seem to be any immediate risk that the Bank could go under, the whole of Iceland is literally on the brink of bankruptcy. This is a country that for some time has been punching above it weight in the financial community but now appears to be paying the price for over extending the financial system. The prospects for the 300,000 inhabitants of Iceland do not look too hot at the moment.

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