The British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is preparing a formal investigation on the affairs of the failed Kaupthing Bank, due to suspicion that the bank was involved in criminal activity. In August, the SFO collected data to learn more about the bank’s collapse.
The headquarters of Kaupthing in Reykjavík. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
The Daily Telegraph reported that members of the former Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander board are believed to have sought assistance from London’s leading fraud solicitor Ian Burton, who is the senior partner at Burton Copeland. A spokesman for the law firm refused to comment on this allegation.
According to the newspaper’s sources, the investigation’s aim is, among other purposes, to find out what happened to the bank’s funds; hundreds of British municipalities and charities suffered substantial financial loss at the bank’s collapse.
The bank’s trade with its main customers and owners will also be reviewed. Entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz, who was on the board of Exista, Kaupthing’s largest shareholder, received a loan worth EUR 1.7 billion (USD 2.5), for example.
In October, a three-person SFO delegation came to Iceland to exchange information with the office of the Special Prosecutor.
British authorities have claimed that large amounts of money were transferred from the UK to Iceland before the collapse, but Kaupthing’s former executives have always denied these claims.
Morgunbladid assumes that the SFO’s investigation will also include the alleged transfer.