The website SHELTER OFFSHORE has been inundated with complaints about the way it promotes the Isle of Man. It says: "But why do Shelter Offshore readers hate the Isle of Man so much? Are so many of them victims of the collapse of Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlander or are they victims of the misinformation that has been spread about the island ever since?
We decided we needed to set the record straight on the Isle of Man’s behalf. We don’t have a preference over offshore jurisdictions, but we do feel that the negative publicity the island has been suffering is actually unfair. Yes, Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlander collapsed and resultant concerns have not been handled swiftly, efficiently or comprehensively enough for some victims…however, that is only one part of the story......... we feel that the jurisdiction should be respected for what it has done and continues to do to maintain its reputation as a leading and reputable financial centre.
Well it would say that wouldn't it? It has a vested interest in making the Isle of man look attractive. But like an attractive new house on the market, what virtue does it have if it is built on hidden unsound foundations? The Isle of Man now has an economy heavily dependent on its financial sector, but though it has its symbolic three legs it does not have a bank of last resort to stand on. It is highly dependent not on its own inbuilt security to vouchsafe deposits but many of its banks are relying now on the security offered by their onshore parent banks. The Kaupthing debacle illustrated the weakness of this link when its Icelandic parent bank failed taking the parental guarantee with it.
So long as the Chief of its FSC publically acknowledges that deposits like investments carry a risk especially when the rate of interest offered is high, then no one in their right mind is going to put their money in the trust of the Isle of Man. It is not a question of 'hate' but of 'mistrust' from having been betrayed by what turned out to be a number of completely false promises of security.
The IoM government could exercise some moral integrity & show a keen sense of justice if it were to accept that the Kaupthing fisaco was a regrettable - & hopefully - isolated incident for which regulatory failure on the part of its FSC played a major part. In doing so it could see to it that no depositor would lose out as a consequence. But unfortunately on the Isle of Man politics comes before the people who put their trust in this bank.
SHELTER OFFSHORE would do depositors a real service if it had the integrity to stand in solidarity with those depositors who have been legally robbed of their life savings in an offshore centre that in its own mercenary self interests it is so keen to promote. Until it does it demonstrates for all to see that money & morality do not get on well in bed together.