Iceland’s major banks have been laying off employees in the hundreds, even though their profits can be measured in billions of crowns.
In an article written for Fréttablaðið, Managing Director at Proforma Public Relations Ólafur Hauksson points out some disturbing facts about Íslandsbanki, Landsbanki and Arionbanki – all derived from publicly available information. Specifically, he focuses on how these banks have been performing financially since the 2008 economic collapse, and how they have been treating their employees.
In the first six months of this year, Íslandsbanki reported profits totaling 8 billion ISK, while Arionbanki reported profits totaling 13.6 billion ISK and Landsbanki reported profits totaling 27 billion ISK in the first nine months of 2011. However, since the fall of 2008, these institutions have laid off about 2,000 employees.
Ólafur points out that a great many of these former bank employees have likely gone on unemployment insurance. In this way, he argues, the banks are making everyone else pay for them to have greater profit margins.
“Certainly the banks could be reduced in size after the crash,” he writes in part. “But why go so far? Why do the banks think it’s a given to send the rest of us the bill? Would the world end if the banks made a little less money?”