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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Iceland’s Tourism Is Growing Too Quickly

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Interior Minister May Have Tried To Influence Investigations

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Asian Immigrant Speaks Up Against Exploitation

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An Indonesian woman living in Iceland had some candid words to share about the experience many Asian women endure when they move here. RÚV reports that Cynthia Trililani, originally from Indonesia, has been living in Iceland for the past ten years now. She has two university degrees, and is working on two master’s degrees while working in a playschool. Despite her background, Cynthia told attendees at SlutWalk last Saturday, herself and Asian women in general are subjected to some ugly stereotypes from some of the locals. Cynthia said that many Asian women are regarded as “uneducated sex toys” who are

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Group Demands Palestinian Be Granted Asylum

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A group calling for asylum seeker policy reform wants a Palestinian asylum seeker who was deported to be allowed to return to Iceland. RÚV reports that the group, Ekki fleiri brottvísanir (“No more deportations”), handed over a petition of support for Ramez Rassas to the Ministry of the Interior and the Directorate of Immigration. Rassas originally fled Gaza in 2009, and has been seeking asylum since then. After repeated failures for asylum in Norway, he came to Iceland last November. He was deported back to Norway last February, and then sent back to Gaza the following month. There, he currently

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The numbers are in for the 8th annual seal census. In all 706 seals were spotted in a 100 km stretch of beach in northwest Iceland, reports RÚV. “We counted 706 this year which is similar to last year,” said biologist Sandra Granquist. “We counted 705-707 last year so [the numbers have] been pretty much the same in the last 3 years.” The census was conducted by  employees of The Icelandic Seal Centre  as well as a number of volunteers who arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning to help count. The census helps scientists keep track of how many seals are in the

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Severe Nursing Shortage Expected

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A severe shortage of nurses in Iceland is expected in coming years, reports RÚV. Ólafur G. Skúlason, chairman of the Icelandic Nurses’s Association, estimates that roughly 900 of the 2800 nurses working today will retire within the next 3 years. At the same time only 400 nursing students will graduate and many seek other jobs due to the heavy workload and poor wages. Additionally, the demand for nurses is increasing quickly with the ageing population. To respond to the shortage Ólafur told mbl.is that it was important to encourage men to become nurses, not only to bolster numbers but because they

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