30-Mar-2016: Liquidators' Update, see Deloitte site

Iceland News

This page contains brief summaries of and links to media reports on the topic of Iceland News.

Failed Icelandic bank seeks 197 million euros from former staff

REYKJAVIK — Failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing said Monday it would seek to recover 32 billion Icelandic kronur (197 million euros, 244 million dollars) from former executives who had taken loans to buy shares in the bank.

Around 80 former employees, many of them former top executives, have been informed they would be held personally liable for huge loans they had taken to buy shares in Kaupthing before it collapsed in October 2008, administrators of the bank's liquidation said in a statement. . .

Iceland's third failed bank Landsbanki has also said it is planning a lawsuit to try to get back as much as 1.5 billion euros from former executives and shareholders. 17-May-10.

Landsbanki to seek two Billion Dollars from Former Owners and Management

The winding-up committee of Landsbanki is now in the final stages of preparing a number of cases against former management and the owners according to Morgunbladid. The amount that the board asks for as reimbursement amounts to 0.75 billon USD (90 billion ISK). The board also asks for eight billion ISK insurance payment, because of criminal activity on behalf of the former management of the bank.

The winding-up committee last summer hired a team of specialists from Deloitte in Britain to investigate the bank before the October 2008 crash. Herdís Hallmarsdóttir, who is on the winding-up committee says that the investigation is making good progress, but is not yet finished. . . .

Two of the three former owners of Landsbanki, Björgólfur Gudmundsson and Magnús Thorsteinsson are now legally bankrupt. The third owner, Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, is still liquid. The CEOs of the bank were Sigurjón Árnason and Halldór J. Kristjánsson.  15-May-10.

Investigators preparing Landsbanki white collar crime report

Pall Benediktsson, spokesman for the Landsbanki resolution committee, says that a special investigations team at the auditing company Deloitte has been preparing a report into alleged misconduct at Landsbanki before the crash in autumn 2008.

“There they have professional bookkeeping investigators doing much the same as Kroll for Glitnir. They will hand in their report on their investigation at the next bank creditors’ meeting on 27th May,” Benediktsson told . . .

Benediktsson is unhappy at an article published this week on saying that the Landsbanki committee constantly drags its feet on communicating openly compared to its Kaupthing and Glitnir counterparts. He said it is simply not true that the committee has been withholding information.  15-May-10.

Icelandic bank crisis report shows how slow FSA was to react

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) was blanked and bluffed by Icelandic bankers for months over the ticking Icesave time bomb.

2000-page Icelandic report into the 2008 banking crisis which almost bankrupted the tiny island country reveals the behind-the-scenes talks between the FSA, the Icelandic government and Landsbanki. It shows the FSA waited seven months before pulling the plug on Landsbanki, of which Icesave was the online savings arm, despite being faced with mounting evidence that the bank was not strong enough to survive. 21-Apr-10.

Iceland given another $160m by IMF to re-build economy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cleared a $160m (£104m) loan to Iceland that was contested by Britain and the Netherlands.

The money is the latest tranche of $2.1bn in IMF aid to stave off Iceland's financial collapse. But approval got caught in wrangling over claims for compensation for the collapse of the Icelandic bank Icesave.

Release of a further tranche of money brings to £1.2bn the amount of loans that the IMF has extended to Iceland.  16-Apr-10.

Iceland has its Truth Report into the financial crisis – now what about one for the UK?

This afternoon, 45 men and women will begin the long task of reciting an astonishing saga of manipulation, deception and the betrayal of thousands of people at a theatre in central Reykjavik.

The unusual story – a 2,000 page political report – will take them four to five days to intone, taking in the events leading up to Iceland's far-reaching financial collapse that saw three banks go down in three days and its currency crippled.

There are already formal criminal investigations into suspected market manipulation, fraud, excessive loans to related parties and tax evasion connected to the banks, Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki. . . .  Then there are the lessons we can learn about the chronic failure of oversight in the UK that allowed these banks to operate in a regulatory black hole on our soil.

Like my colleague, Lawrie Holmes, I’m dismayed at the contrasting complacency in Britain – how everything appears to have gone back to normal. It’s time to lay bare old City practices

Maybe the UK would need a similar wholesale collapse, rather than a near-catastrophe, for the City to engage in any similar introspection and hand-wringing. But I’d still like to see independent report, or series of reports, snooping into those darkest corners of the British banking system that are undeniably still in the shade and poorly understood by those politicians and taxpayers that stumped up the cash to bail them out.  Rowena Mason - 12-Apr-10.

Icelandic bank report to slate regulators and ministers

A DAMNING account of Iceland’s failure to protect ordinary depositors – including hundreds of thousands in the UK – who entrusted their savings to online bank Icesave will be published today by a specially convened truth commission, set up in the wake of Iceland’s banking meltdown 18 months ago.

A 2,000-page report into the system-wide financial collapse in October 2008, commissioned by Icelandic MPs, will contain detailed chapters on both the Icesave affair and Iceland’s pitiful depositor guarantee fund. Former ministers and regulators responsible for ensuring deposit guarantees were sufficiently robust are expected to face severe criticism.  Guardian Service on Irish Times website - 12-Apr-10.

BREAKING NEWS! Icesave Dispute Resolved

Just now the governments of Iceland, the UK and the Netherlands signed an agreement on the repayment scheme of Landsbanki’s Icesave deposits. Negotiations were believed to be at standstill and therefore this sudden solution came as a surprise.

However, negotiations had actually been taken place under a veil of secrecy for weeks—given that this solution is extremely radical they had to be secret, explained Icelandic Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon.  01-Apr-10.

Icesave Analysis: Make Us an Offer We Can’t Refuse

After the one-sided Icesave-vote last weekend not much has happened officially. The Icelandic government has stressed that the dispute must be put to a rest as soon as possible. The opposition leaders have said that unless an acceptable accord is reached they will not go along with an agreement. This has lead to declarations by Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir that the government might try to finish the negotiations alone. This declaration has a hollow ring, considering that the government has in fact been sent back twice because of widespread opposition. . .

So the question is. How can this be ended? Both the British and the Dutch government know that payment will take years as Alistair Darling said in an interview on Sunday. The burden of the payment will be carried by the now defunct Landsbanki, which should rightfully pay anyway. The dispute turns around a government guarantee for the full amount with interest.  12-mar-10.

Landsbanki Guernsey savers ‘are the worst off of the lot’

LANDSBANKI Guernsey depositors are the worst-affected by the Icelandic financial crash, and Iceland may now never re-compensate [sic] the UK, it has been claimed.

Hundreds of thousands of Iceland residents have joined an insurrection proposing that the UK and Netherlands, which lent the country the money to bail out foreign savers when Landsbanki collapsed in October 2008, should not be recompensed.

Over the past year they have become increasingly unhappy about bearing this cost saying it will make their already huge debt impossible.

An article in the Sunday Telegraph business section yesterday said that of all those affected, one group of Channel Islanders was hit hardest.

‘But the worst affected people – even more so than Icelandic and British taxpayers – are the 800 savers in Landsbanki Guernsey who lost access to their entire life savings,’ said business journalist Rowena Mason.

‘They were not covered by the UK Government’s bail-out,’ she added. 08-Mar-10.

[See referenced Telegraph article by Rowena Mason HERE.

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