President of Dutch Central Bank Says Iceland Lied Skip to content

President of Dutch Central Bank Says Iceland Lied

President of the Dutch Central Bank Nout Wellink said before a committee investigating the global financial crisis at the Dutch parliament today that Icelandic authorities had lied about the situation of the Icelandic banking system in the autumn of 2008.

The Government Offices of Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Another Dutch central banker, Arnold Schilder, who is former head of the bank’s inner supervision, told the committee earlier this week that Icelandic authorities had lied about Icesave, Landsbanki’s online savings unit in the UK and the Netherlands, saying that everything was fine.

According to Reuters, Wellink said he had spoken with the supervisor of the Icelandic Central Bank in early September 2008. He was told that the Central Bank had warned the Icelandic government six months earlier about possible risks involving the Icelandic banks.

“I’ve been hoping for a long time that they just didn’t see it, but to be honest after the words of my colleague that it was several months before that he had warned them, I thought they have lied to us,” Wellink said.

The Icelandic government has yet to respond to Wellink’s claims, but on Wednesday, after Schilder accused Iceland of lying, the government issued a statement. “We take such allegations very seriously,” Economic Affairs Minister Gylfi Magnússon said.

“One of the tasks before us is to understand whether false or misleading information was presented by the Icelandic banks, regulators and government officials to foreign regulatory agencies in the months leading up to the collapse of the banking system in October 2008,” the minister explained.

Click here to read more about Schilder’s claims and here to read the full story on Reuters.

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