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Banker warns of excessive supervision

The Icelandic Broadcasting System, RÚV, reports that Hreidar Már Sigurdsson, CEO of Kaupthing and the chairman of the Bankers’ and Securities Dealer’s Association of Iceland (BSDI), says the Financial Supervisory Authority should exercises newly gained powers “with caution”.

Earlier this year the Authority announced it would start making public the names of those individuals who violate the securities law and are fined by the government. The detailed circumstances of each case will also be published. But if a matter is referred to the police for investigation, only the circumstances of each case will be made public and the names will be withheld.

Hreidar Már further said that the financial sector was the most important sector for the future development of Iceland. More regulation was “normal” and “necessary to preserve the reputation of Iceland” which in his view is “Iceland’s single greatest asset abroad”.

As reported by Morgunbladid, at the annual meeting of the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce last February, Iceland’s first dollar billionaire, Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson said business was “based on trust”. He expressed his doubts concerning the need for supervision in commerce. “Business transactions occur because owners who trust each other exchange value for their mutual benefit. Strict supervision does not create trust. I don’t trust my neighbour any better just because there is a lot of police around,” said Björgólfur Thor.

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