Iceland bank fallout rumbles on
The current prime minister of Iceland sold almost all his remaining assets in a major Icelandic bank’s investment fund on the day the government seized control of the country’s collapsing financial sector at the peak of the 2008 crash.
According to leaked documents, Bjarni Benediktsson, then an MP on the parliament’s economy and tax committee, sold several million króna of assets in the Glitnir bank’s fund before an emergency law placed Iceland’s failed financial institutions under state control. The documents suggest Benediktsson, whose name appeared in the Panama Papers offshore scandal that toppled Iceland’s previous prime minister, talked to senior Glitnir executives on 6 October 2008, as the country’s banking bubble was on the point of bursting.
While he denies any wrongdoing and the Guardian has seen no evidence he broke any laws, the revelations could be embarrassing: Benediktsson faces elections on 28 October after his coalition collapsed last month over an alleged attempt to cover up a scandal involving his father.