In mid April, after long delays, the IMF board approved the disbursement of Iceland’s third loan instalment, amounting to $159 million, in mid April. The delays were caused by a dispute between Iceland and the UK and the Netherlands over compensation to British and Dutch account depositors in the collapsed Icelandic bank Icesave. The IMF had refused to complete the review because the European Union portion of the financing was being held up. Although no concrete agreement on the Icesave dispute has been made yet, Iceland is under increased pressure after the European Free Trade Association in a late May letter advised of the country’s legal obligation to insure a minimum deposit guarantee of €20,000 per saver. Meanwhile, worries remain over Iceland’s debt sustainability (see Update 71).
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Last year BRICS' leaders agreed to launch a BRICS development bank. Whether this is considered positive depends in part what questions are being asked. Sameer Dossani of ActionAid International highlights the flaws in the World Bank and IMF, analyses whether a BRICS Bank could be different from these institutions and proposes what it should do and what it should look like.
The Bretton Woods Project is an ActionAid hosted project (UK registered charity no. 274467).