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Serious Fraud Office launches investigation into Kaupthing bank

So, the Serious Fraud Office in the UK has launched a large-scale investigation into the activities of Kaupthing bank in the lead-up to the bank collapse last fall. Rumours to that effect have been circulating for weeks, and were finally confirmed today.

Among other things, this concerns what seems like large-scale money transfers out of the bank in the days and weeks prior to the collapse, and suspicions that the bank provided the public with false information in connection with the Kaupthing Edge online accounts.

Apparently this is the largest investigation currently underway by the SFO. They are also looking into the activities of the other Icelandic banks.

A couple of months ago it was announced that Eva Joly and the SFO had decided to pool their resources for the investigation into the Icelandic bank collapse. All of which is very, very good news.

From what I understand, the SFO does not embark on an investigation of this sort unless it has serious evidence that it will lead to convictions. Which means that certain individuals must be sweating bullets right about now.

No weather today, as it is late and I’m in BIG RUSH. And anyway, both weather and sunup-sundown are about the same as yesterday, give or take a degree/minute or two.

MORE ON KAUPTHING
Kaupthing bank dishes up yet another scandal
Kaupthing’s loan book exposed!
More public outrage as details come spilling out of Kaupthing’s loan book

[PS can someone remind me how to reset Firefox? Suddenly my blog is looking HUGE – at least to me. Anyone else seeing the same thing?]

Comments

comments

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  • sylvia hikins December 17, 2009, 12:37 am

    I note that the SFO is not asking ‘if’ but ‘why substantial values’ were extracted from the bank ‘in the weeks before it collapsed’.
    It really does look as if the SFO has got some hard evidence.
    Yippee…..now I might just start believing in Father Christmas!
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • James December 17, 2009, 12:58 am

    Nearly 70% of the SFO’s prosecutions result in convictions, so more prisons will be needed to house the bankers…

  • Petri Aho December 17, 2009, 7:04 am

    Interesting news. I hope they can track down and return all the lost/stolen/lent money. I guess those are mostly hidden in tax paradises, just wish EU and US would take more solid stand against those.

  • idunn December 17, 2009, 8:19 am

    ‘The Iceland Weather Report’ looks fine from here via Firefox. Your best solution may be to do a search under ‘reset’ in the help section. Possibly a matter of screen resolution.

  • Joerg December 17, 2009, 9:18 am

    That sounds promising and hopefully will finally speed up things a bit. I just hope that such an investigation for Landsbanki is following soon.

    In Firefox you can decrease the font-size with “Ctrl -“, increase with “Ctrl + “, set back to normal with “Ctrl 0” (or with the ‘View’-menu).

  • alda December 17, 2009, 10:31 am

    Thanks everyone for the input and the tips. Joerg’s tip worked like a charm.

    As for the convictions – yes indeed we will need more prisons. In fact the Icelandic government is already on the case, looking for suitable premises to buy or rent which can act as a prison. There will be a lot of people going to jail, make no mistake.

    As for the SFO, they must have knowledge that laws were violated in the UK, which to me is an intriguing angle.

  • Sigga December 17, 2009, 11:58 am

    I would be so much happier if they all get tried in the UK under UK law as I think that the prison terms would be longer and the prisons actually really prisons and not some guesthouse in the country converted into a lockup. Go SFO!

  • RLJ December 17, 2009, 12:58 pm

    Sweating bullets Alda – but only because they are sunning themselves in a lovely little paradise with no extradition treaty to the UK or Iceland. I’ve lost all faith in the Icelandic judicial system and I don’t see anyone getting extradited to serve a sentence in the UK.
    I HOPE you’re right. But..

  • kevin o'connor waterford Ireland December 17, 2009, 1:02 pm

    Meanwhile sharks gather
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/councils-demand-every-penny-back-from-iceland-1843367.html

    Mr and Missus average Iceland would really have been better off if those rich sucessful hardworking business types you have there had just stayed on the dole.

  • PeterRRRRRR December 17, 2009, 5:32 pm

    Gotta love the Brits — Is there a “Petty Fraud Office” too, and another for Not-Quite-Serious Fraud?

  • joeinvegas December 17, 2009, 5:41 pm

    If the US is an example I would still be suprised if anyone got prison time.

  • idunn December 17, 2009, 11:02 pm

    I have an issue with prisons and punishment in general. But no matter the adjudication of those responsible, the more important question is to keep it all from happening again.

    So, yes, it would be nice to recover some of the ‘stolen’ loot. More important to keep the same ones or others taking natural resources from under your noses. Also, not to adopt as national debt those incurred by individuals in fraud. To do otherwise akin to bolting and watching the back door while they clean out the house through the front.

  • BRADSTREET December 17, 2009, 11:08 pm

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they do get sent down for a good length of time. Hopefully they’ll become the darlings of Cell Block 11; the very, very special friend of the deranged killer who spends his spare time lurking around the showers…

    PeterRRRRRR: We even have a Whimsical Fraud Office, but people don’t take it seriously enough.

    It’s around -4 degrees C in England, and the snow is starting to fall.

  • andy rooney 60 minutes channel December 19, 2010, 9:35 am

    I favor people who who blog regularly, it is really tough to have that kind of observation just about any means. Exceptional work.