Former chairman of Kaupthing Bank Sigurdur Einarsson sent a letter last week to Ragnar Haflidason, acting director of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FME), asking what he intends to do regarding the theft of confidential documents from the bank.
According to Fréttabladid, Einarsson claims that these confidential documents were leaked to Morgunbladid daily, which then used them to report on alleged loans granted to Kaupthing’s owners, including Ólafur Ólafsson, Ágúst and Lýdur Gudmundsson and Robert Tchenguiz, who were all named in the article.
Sigurdur Einarsson. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
“This is obviously a serious violation of a banker’s protection of his client’s right to privacy, effecting both the individuals and companies involved,” Einarsson writes in the letter, sent on March 10.
In the letter, Einarsson also writes that he wants to draw attention to the fact that “information was leaked about three individuals mentioned by name, who have participated in public dialogue and have, for example, criticized the Central Bank of Iceland and the events leading up to the banking collapse.”
Additionally, these three individuals all publicly support Iceland’s application for European Union membership, Einarsson points out in the letter.
In an interview with Fréttabladid, Einarsson revealed that these three individuals are Lúdvík Bergvinsson, party group chairman for the Social Democrats, business reporter and former Reykjavík City Councilman Björn Ingi Hrafnsson and former Minister of Education and current vice-chairperson of the Independence Party Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, whose husband, Kristján Arason, worked as a managing director at Kaupthing’s wealth management division.
According to Fréttabladid’s sources, Einarsson has indicated that former Central Bank governor and chairman Davíd Oddsson is behind the leak. Einarsson would not confirm that claim but said that people must interpret his words for themselves.
“I believe it’s necessary to investigate this information leak because punishable threats could be involved that could jeopardize the open and democratic organization of society and is furthermore a breach of confidentiality,” Einarsson stated.
“How does the FME plan to react to these violations and prevent them from happening again?” Einarsson asked, concluding that the confidentiality of people’s personal financial affairs is a fundamental element for operating a financial system in Iceland.