Skip to main content

Bank Services

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what legislative powers the Government recently froze the assets of Icelandic banks in the United Kingdom. (227922)

The Government froze the UK funds of Landsbanki under the power in section 4 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act, 2001. HMG has not frozen any other Icelandic banks. The Act includes a range of provisions. In this instance, use of the power had no relation to the counter-terrorism provisions elsewhere in the Act. The power allows HMG to make a freezing order where action to the detriment of the United Kingdom's economy (or part of it) has been or is likely to be taken by a foreign Government or other person. This was the basis on which the power was used. The Treasury will keep the freezing order under review.