Plans to compensate savers up to €100,000 ($136,600) for deposits at the Dutch arm of Icesave, a subsidiary of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki, threatened to unravel on Tuesday night as the country’s largest savings bank said it had no intention of helping to fund the rescue.
Rabobank, the agricultural lender that controls about 40 per cent of the Dutch savings market and has a triple A credit rating, said: “At the moment we are not willing to pay the bill for this Icelandic debacle.”
Under the existing Dutch deposit scheme, healthy banks must club together to fund payouts when a peer collapses.
Wouter Bos, finance minister, announced last week that the national deposit guarantee was being extended to cover savings of up to €100,000, up from €38,000 previously.
The Dutch central bank said on Tuesday it would begin processing claims by Icesave depositors.
The first €20,887 is to be paid by Iceland’s national deposit scheme, which the Dutch government is effectively underwriting through a loan agreed last weekend in Reykjavik. But the balance is to come from the deposit guarantee scheme. Mr Bos has said he expects the scheme to operate normally unless it threatens a bank’s financial health.
However Rabobank said Bert Heemskerk, its chief executive who has led public and private criticism of Icesave’s high interest rates, told Mr Bos in Washington last weekend of the bank’s unwillingness to pay for the Icesave guarantee.
Icesave had about 125,000 customers in The Netherlands with deposits of €1.7bn.
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