Icelandic Competition Authority Concerned Over Bank Operation

Published February 7, 2013

The Icelandic Competition Authority has expressed concern over the lack of competitive operation policies among the country’s three big banks, Landsbanki, Íslandsbanki, and Arion Banki. According to a new report released by the Icelandic Competition Authority, titled “Fjármálaþjónusta á krossgötum” (PDF link) this is resulting in clients paying higher rates and receiving unfavourable terms in order to cover the banks’ ever-increasing operating expenses.
The report reveals that the operating costs of the banks have been increasing significantly year-over-year since the crash, as the public focused their post-crash attention on loan re-evaluation, which increased the banks profits more than had been expected, RÚV reports.
Wages for bank employees have been steadily increasing since the crash, at a far greater rate than employees in other sectors have been experiencing. Such expenses increased by 15% between 2009 and 2010 in the banking sector, while a comparison made with the increased wages of 26,000 firms in other sectors show an average wage increase of just 6% over the same period. Moreover, on an international scale, the operating expenses of Icelandic banks is considered high, accounting for 2.3% of bank assets, in comparison to the operating costs of small Nordic banks and larger European banks claiming 0.6 – 1.5% of assets going toward operating expenses.


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News In Brief Late August

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Unless you’ve been literally living in a cave for the past two weeks, chances are that you’ve heard of the possible eruption at Bárðarbunga peak. In the end (at the time of writing), this insufferable geological formation didn’t have the decency to erupt even a little bit, let alone disrupt air travel across the European continent. Instead, it rumbled, made some tremors, fooled scientists into thinking a small eruption was underway when there totally wasn’t, annoyed farmers affected by the evacuation of the area, spawned endless alarmist articles in the international press, and failed to destroy the Kárahnjúkar Dam. Worst.

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UPDATED: No-Fly Zone In Effect Over Holuhraun Eruption

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ISAVIA has imposed a no-fly zone over the Holuhraun eruption site and a parts of northeastern Iceland. In a brief posted to their website, ISAVIA, who control and run Iceland’s airports, have stated that it is unclear how much ash is likely to be produced. Contingency plans in the event of disruptive ash production are in place. Reykjavík’s Air Traffic Control Centre, in cooperation with the Icelandic Met Office has mapped out a no-fly zone over and around the Holuhraun volcanic eruption. UPDATE: The previous no-fly zone (pictured above), used to include Akureyri Airport but the reevaluated no-fly zone is smaller. Akureyri airport is

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Breaking News: Eruption Confirmed At Holuhraun

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The Icelandic Met Office has confirmed an eruption has started in Holuhraun, north of Dyngjujökull. This is further backed up by the Míla live-feed where the eruption is visible in the distance.  According to Iceland’s Civil Protection Authority the lava is making its way to the surface through a 100 metre long fissure with low lava fountains with thin flowing lava. The eruption site is located in an area devoid of ice meaning that the flood risk for North Iceland is so far minimal.  

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Humpback Whale Saved From Netting – VIDEO

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The Icelandic Coast Guard rescued a whale that had been caught in netting, with the whole event record on video. A statement from the Icelandic Coast Guard announces that they received a call yesterday morning of a whale near Skagafjörður that had reportedly gotten caught in some fishing netting. The whale had attempted to free itself, but a rope from the net was entangled around its tail, and it was swimming not far from shore. A local sailor had attempted to free the netting from the whale himself, but the hook he was using was smacked from his hand by

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Pagan Chief Says Racists Co-Opt Elements Of Ásatrú

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The Head Cheiftain of the Ásatrú Society says neo-Nazis have attempted to co-opt the pagan faith – a practice the society utterly disavows. “We strongly oppose any attempt by individuals to use their association with the Ásatrúarfélagið of Iceland to promote attitudes, ideologies and practices rejected by the leadership of the Ásatrúarfélagið. We particularly reject the use of Ásatrú as a justification for supremacy ideology, militarism and animal sacrifice,” a statement the religious order posted on their website in English reads in part. “It should also be known that visitors have no authority to speak on our behalf. There is

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Interior Minister Spoke Untruthfully To Parliament

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What Interior Minister Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir told parliament earlier this summer about police investigations of her Ministry, and what the reality was, are two different things. As Vísir points out, Hanna Birna addressed parliament on the investigations of her Ministry on numerous occasions. On June 18, while police investigations were still ongoing, she told her colleagues that she had no knowledge of what police were uncovering and how they were conducting their investigations. “I do not know these investigations,” she told parliament. “I do not know about them, and it would be unnatural if I knew about any part of

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