Iceland Crisis Report: Politicians Received High Loans Skip to content

Iceland Crisis Report: Politicians Received High Loans

Of the list of ten Althingi members who received loans of over ISK 100 million (USD 791,000, EUR 582,000) from the beginning of 2005 until the banks collapsed, which was published in the SIC report, seven were members of the Independence Party.

Vice-chair of the Independence Party, Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, who placed second on the list. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

The list covers the Althingi members who, along with their spouses and associated companies, had an overall loan position of over ISK 100 million (USD 791,000, EUR 582,000) during the period, reports.

Sólveig Pétursdóttir, former Minister of Justice and later Speaker of the Althingi parliament, is top of the list. At the end of July 2007, the maximum amount connected to her was ISK 3.6 billion (USD 28 million, EUR 21 million).

Most loans were for her husband, Kristinn Björnsson, and of those the highest were through forward contracts.

Loans connected to Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, former Minister of Education and now vice-chair of the Independence Party, amounted in September 2008 to ISK 1.7 billion (USD 13.4 million, EUR 10 million). Most loans were to her husband, Kristján Arason.

Herdís Thórdardóttir, Althingi member for the Independence Party from 2007 to 2009, is in third place. The loans connected to her amounted to ISK 1 billion (USD 7.9 million, EUR 5.8 million) in April 2006. Most were for her husband, Jóhannes Sigurdur Ólafsson or a company under their joint ownership.

Social Democrat and former Althingi member Lúdvík Bergvinsson comes next with ISK 755 million (USD 6 million, EUR 4 million), most of them through a property company, Midklettur holding company, which is 50 percent under his ownership.

Jónína Bjartmarz, Althingi member for the Progressive Party from 2000 to 2007 and former Environment Minister, had loans connected to her amounting to ISK 283 million (USD 2.2 million, EUR 1.7 million) in September 2008. Most were for her husband, Pétur Thór Sigurdsson.

Former Minister of Social Affairs and Progressive Party member Árni Magnússon has ISK 265 million (USD 2.1 million, EUR 1.5 million), most through Glitnir. He was hired as director of the bank in 2006.

Ármann K. Ólafsson, former MP for the Independence Party and current chairman of the town council of Kópavogur, had loans connected to him up to ISK 248 million (USD 2 million, EUR 1.4 million) in August 2007.

Chair of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson had loans amounting to ISK 174 million (USD 1.4 million, EUR 1 million) in January 2008. Most of Benedíktsson’s loans were with Glitnir, either through direct loans or through forward contracts.

Ásta Möller from the Independence Party has ISK 141 million (USD 1.1 million, EUR 820,000), most of the loans connected to her husband Haukur Thór Hauksson.

Another Independence Party Althingi member, Ólöf Nordal, has loans of ISK 131 million (USD 1 million, EUR 762,000), most connected to her husband.

The list thus contains seven Independence Party members, one Social Democrat and two Progressive Party members.

Click here to read other news of the SIC report.

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