Isle of Man to make some payouts to SIB depositors

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The Independent Online
MORE than 2,000 depositors who lost millions in the Isle of Man Savings & Investment Bank crash 10 years ago are to get partial compensation, writes Tony Farragher.

The Manx parliament, Tynwald, decided overwhelmingly yesterday to approve a payout scheme giving all eligible depositors half their money back up to a maximum refund of pounds 5,000.

The SIB collapsed in 1982 with debts of pounds 42m. Only pounds 8m has been recovered and distributed to the savers. Liquidators say they are doubtful of recovering any more.

Moving the scheme to pump another pounds 4.5m in to the payout fund from the Manx taxpayer, the island's chief minister, Miles Walker, accepted it would not satisfy the huge losses of many innocent depositors. His government was obliged to strike the right balance between depositors and taxpayers, who were also blameless.

Mr Walker said successive reports had condemned banking supervision on the island at the time of the crash. 'It is difficult not to feel the Isle of Man government is open to criticism and some atonement is appropriate,' he added.

The payout will be made early next year at a cost to Manx taxpayers of around pounds 150 per head.