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New Banks, Old Faces

According to the organization charts of the new state-run Icelandic banks, the nationalized Glitnir, Landsbanki and Kaupthing bank, 21 out of 31 managing directors were managing directors in the banks before they went bankrupt.

The headquarters of Glitnir Bank in Reykjavík. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

“The first project was to sail the ship through the surf,” commented Pétur Blöndal, chairman of the economy and taxation committee of the Althingi parliament, on the organization charts of the new banks, Morgunbladid reports.

Only one key executive, Finnur Sveinbjörnsson, the new director of Kaupthing Bank, was not employed by any of the old banks. All other key executives in the new banks are former managing directors, lower-ranking directors or employees of the old banks.

Blöndal said it has to be investigated what went wrong at the old banks and that the organization charts need to be reviewed in the process, not only to find out who were responsible for the collapse of the bank system, but also to conclude who is best suited for each position.

While the organization charts have been criticized for including the same managing directors as were responsible for operating the old banks before the collapse, it has been pointed out that these people also have specialized knowledge and important connections.

The organization charts have also been criticized for including few women. Out of ten managing directors in the new Landsbanki there are two women, at Kaupthing there is only one woman in a group of 11 managing directors, while Glitnir employs four women as high-ranking executives.

At both Glitnir and Landsbanki, women serve as primary directors.

Click here to read more about the new state-run banks.

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