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Did Alistair Darling lead Parliament astray over Icelandic bank collapse?

As the Icelandic banking saga continues with little end in sight it has been revealed that phone conversation transcripts released into the public domain show details of a chat between Mr Darling and his counterpart in Iceland about the subject of UK savers being compensated for potential losses.

The telephone conversation was reported to have been held on the 7th October and while no guarantee was given about repayment of funds lost by UK savers, there was talk of the European banking directive which would compensate savers up to £16,000 in the event of a collapse. Seemingly at no point did the Icelandic government rule out compensation and confirmed that they would do all they could to compensate UK savers.

It is alleged that after this telephone conversation, Mr Darling told the press that the Icelandic government had refused to honour savings held by those in the UK, a move which many believe led to a further run on the Icelandic banking system and the eventual total collapse of the country's economy. If this turns out to be true it could put Mr Darling's position at the Treasury in jeopardy and cause serious problems for the UK authorities.

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