Case against Glitnir Seven to Continue in Iceland Skip to content

Case against Glitnir Seven to Continue in Iceland

The case of the winding-up committee of Glitnir Bank against seven of its former owners and executives isn’t over, although the case has been concluded in New York. The committee’s chair, Steinunn Guðbjartsdóttir, said the case will be continued in Iceland.


The headquarters of the defunct bank Glitnir, now Íslandsbanki. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

Steinunn added it had been clear since December 2011 that the winding-up committee’s appeal before New York courts would not be followed up on; the extension to submit documents for that purpose expired on Tuesday, Morgunblaðið reports.

The case will be filed before Icelandic courts in the coming weeks, Steinunn said, but it will not be of the same nature as the New York court case.

“It isn’t certain that the same group of people will be sued. There might be more or fewer people involved. There might also be more cases,” Steinunn elaborated.

RÚV reported yesterday that Hannes Smárason, Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson and Pálmi Haraldsson, who were among those originally sued by the winding-up committee of Glitnir, are planning to make claims to the bank’s estate shortly and file for damages.

“The conclusion of the US court was that each party would cover its respective cost of this case,” Steinunn responded when asked what she thinks of these claims.

Auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), against which the winding-up committee had also filed charges, issued a statement yesterday saying they are pleased that the case in New York is over.

“The firm regrets that it was falsely implicated in the lawsuit,” the statement reads. It also points out that PwC objected the lawsuit, describing it as “ungrounded and ill-founded.”

In May 2010, Glitnir’s winding-up committee filed charges in New York against Jón Ásgeir, Hannes, Pálmi, Ingibjörg Pálmadóttir, Þorsteinn Jónsson, Jón Sigurðsson, Lárus Welding and PwC, demanding USD 2 billion (ISK 246 billion, EUR 1.5 billion) in damages.

The case involved the issuing of commercial papers in the state of New York worth USD 1 billion in 2007. The winding-up committee stated that these individuals and the auditing firm had caused the bank irreparable damage and “robbed it from the inside.”

A New York judge dismissed the case in December 2010 on certain conditions, such as that the seven individuals signed a declaration that their assets in the US could be seized if a court in Iceland would rule in the winding-up committee’s favor and that the jurisdiction of Icelandic courts in this case would not be objected.

The winding-up committee of Glitnir appealed the verdict in February 2011.

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