From Iceland — Kaupthing Bankers Awarded Bonuses In Closed Meeting

Kaupthing Bankers Awarded Bonuses In Closed Meeting

Published August 31, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Sveinbjörn Pálsson

In a closed door meeting held yesterday, the holding company of Kaupthing bank awarded bonuses to certain “key employees” totaling 1.5 billion ISK, with some receiving payouts of 100 million ISK or more.

Foreign shareholders were present at the meeting, which was closed to the public and reporters alike.

RÚV reports that a representative of the Central Bank voted against the bonuses, which have sparked criticism amongst the general public and some members of parliament. This includes Progressive MP Þorsteinn Sæmundssson, who proposed that a tax of 90% to 98% be levied against these bonuses.

Kaupthing was once a major player in the Icelandic financial market, with numerous holdings overseas. In the wake of the 2008 banking collapse, it was temporarily taken under the custodianship of the Icelandic government, before it later changed its name to Arion Banki.

As investigations into the causes of the financial collapses unfolded, it came to light that numerous key players within the bank had engaged in market manipulation and fraud in order to artificially inflate the value of the bank. This resulted in prison sentences for a number of these bankers.

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