Banking Expert Threatens to Quit Working for State Skip to content

Banking Expert Threatens to Quit Working for State

Mats Josefsson, the Swedish banking expert who was hired by former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde to chair the committee on the restoration of the financial system, threatened to quit working for the state last week because of how slowly things were going.

Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

According to Morgunbladid’s sources, Josefsson was dissatisfied with a number of things, including the lack of a clear policy, in his view, on the matters of the new banks and how their customers’ problems should be dealt with.

Josefsson recommended in February that a special asset management company be established to support the restoration of companies and save value. The asset management company would be independent but work with the banks.

However, the representatives of the new banks decided to establish special companies and work on the matters of their clients themselves. Josefsson would not comment on this story to Morgunbladid.

Vice-chairwoman of the Independence Party Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir asked Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir at parliament yesterday whether it was true that Josefsson had threatened to stop working for the government, RÚV reports.

“It is true that Mats Josefsson was planning to resign but he is not planning to do so anymore,” Sigurdardóttir said in response to Gunnarsdóttir’s request.

“We discussed this and reviewed the situation together and it is clear that there was a difference in opinion on what work methods should be implemented, but I believe that after having discussed the situation people will coordinate their perspectives,” the PM continued.

“Mats Josefsson is still here and will continue to work with us on the important reorganization that lies ahead,” Sigurdardóttir concluded.

“There are no substantial reasons for why he wanted to quit except that it was going too slowly,” Gunnarsdóttir said in response. “That the policy on the restoration of the banking system was very unclear.”

Gunnarsdóttir then asked whether Josefsson had made any conditions for continuing to work for the government and Sigurdardóttir replied that he had requested a speedier process.

Josefsson led the restoration after a banking crisis in Sweden and has worked for 13 years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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