Privatization of Icelandic Banks to Be Investigated? Skip to content

Privatization of Icelandic Banks to Be Investigated?

A group of MPs from at least three political parties, along with independent MPs, will this week submit a resolution to the Alþingi parliament that the privatization of the Icelandic banks from 1998 to 2003 be investigated.

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The headquarters of Landsbanki. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The resolution assumes that a three-person committee be established to investigate the sale of Fjárfestingarbanki atvinnulífsins, Landsbanki and Búnaðarbanki and hand in a report to the speaker of parliament no later than on January 1, 2013, Fréttablaðið reports.

In the resolution draft there are many detailed investigative questions. The preface says that the committee is to cover the policy and frame of references on which the privatization was based and to which extent they were followed in the execution.

The process is to be evaluated, as well as the responsibility and involvement of certain ministers and officials, the agreements with new owners are to be reviewed, as are their fulfillments and exemptions.

The committee is to point out suspicion of illegal conduct or violations of the employment obligations of the authorities.

Skúli Helgason of the Social Democrats is the resolution’s primary presenter. He stated that 14 MPs from the Social Democrats, Left-Greens and The Movement, along with independent MPs, have agreed to support the resolution.

The parliamentary group of the Progressive Party is discussing the matter but Skúli does not expect support from the ranks of the Independence Party. A coalition of those two parties was at the helm when the banks were privatized.

A resolution on the privatization of Landsbanki and Búnaðarbanki was presented by the MPs of the Social Democrats in the autumn of 2010 but its treatment was never completed by the General Committee.

“We emphasize that the resolution will go through this time and that the investigation will take place this year,” Skúli said.

ESA

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