Our story

Íslandsbanki has deep roots in Iceland's economic history.


    Álftanes Savings Bank

    Álftanes Savings Bank was established in 1875. They later changed their name when they merged with the Hafnarfjörður Savings Bank in 1902.



    The first Íslandsbanki Bank opened in 1904, after the introduction of Home Rule in Iceland and was the country's first public limited company. The Bank laid the foundation for the growth of the fishing industry, acting as a springboard for the Icelandic economy.


    The Fisheries Loan Fund of Iceland

    The Fisheries Loan Fund of Iceland was established in 1905 to support and promote Icelandic fisheries. The Fund offered finance for ship and equipment purchases and backed various measures to improve the industry.

    Arnarneshreppur Savings Bank

    The Arnarneshreppur Savings Bank merged with Akureyri Savings Bank in 1988 to become the Akureyri & Arnarneshreppur Savings Bank. The Glæsibæjarhreppur Savings Bank was established in 1908 and merged with Akureyri & Arnarneshreppur Savings Bank to become the Norðlendinga Savings Bank.


    Fisheries Bank of Iceland

    The Icelandic Fisheries Bank of Iceland was established in 1930 after taking over Íslandsbanki's assets and debts after its closure. The Bank was created to support fisheries, industry and services.


    Industrial Loan Fund

    The Industrial Loan Fund was established during the recession between 1930 and 1940 to create a foundation for Icelandic industry. The Fund financed the purchase of machinery and equipment and also offered operating loans.


    Industrial Bank

    The Industrial Bank was opened in 1953 to support manufacturing and handicraft.


    Kópavogur Savings Bank

    Kópavogur Savings Bank was established in 1954.


    Savings Bank for Engineers

    The Savings Bank for Engineers was established in 1961.

    Bank of Commerce

    Trade grew significantly in the 20th century, resulting in the establishment of the Bank of Commerce in 1961.


    Industrial Development Fund

    The Nordic governments decided to establish the Industrial Development Fund for Iceland in 1970 to help Iceland adjust to new market conditions, after joining EFTA.

    Union Bank

    Icelandic workers acquired their own bank in 1971 when the Union Bank was established. The bank's goal was, among other things, to strengthen job security and create job opportunities.



    The establishment of Íslandsbanki in 1990 was a turning point in Icelandic banking history. Íslandsbanki became the largest private sector bank in Iceland after merging with the Union Bank, Industrial Bank, Fisheries Bank of Iceland and the Commerce Bank.


    Norðlendinga Savings Bank

    The Norðlendinga Savings Bank was established after merging with Glæsibæjarhreppur Savings Bank and Akureyri & Arnarneshreppur Savings Bank.



    The Icelandic Investment Bank was established in 1998 to take over the Fisheries Loan fund, the Industrial Loan Fund and Industrial Bank. The aim of establishing the FBA was to strengthen the financial market and reduce state ownership.


    Íslandsbanki & FBA

    Íslandsbanki and the Icelandic Investment Bank merged in 2000 to create the most dynamic company in the Icelandic financial sector and fast became a business leader.



    The name Íslandsbanki wasn't used for all Bank operations until 2001. The Bank focused on modernising the Icelandic financial sector and subsequently purchased Sjóvá Insurance.


    International growth

    Íslandsbanki entered international markets in 2004 with the acquisition of Kreditbanken in Norway. Operations abroad grew rapidly, e.g., in Norway and Sweden. Offices and branches were opened in London, Copenhagen and elsewhere.



    Íslandsbanki became Glitnir in 2006 and continued to expand worldwide, e.g., in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, China and the United States. The Icelandic banking industry grew exponentially during this period. The Bank sold Sjóvá Insurance.


    Byr Savings Bank

    Hafnarfjörður Savings Bank and the Savings Bank for Engineers merged in 2006, and in 2007 changed their name to Byr Savings Bank. Byr merged with the Kópavogur Savings Bank in 2007 and with Norðlendingar Savings Bank a year later.


    A new bank

    The new Glitnir was established in November 2008. All domestic operations were transferred from the old bank to the new one, and the bank became state-owned. Birna Einarsdóttir became CEO of the new bank.



    The new Glitnir became Íslandsbanki in February 2009. Íslandsbanki led the way in offering solutions to companies and individuals experiencing financial problems and the first Icelandic bank to conclude agreements with creditors on its one-year anniversary. The new board was composed of experienced foreign and Icelandic experts, and Birna Einarsdóttir remained CEO.


    Íslandsbanki and Byr merge

    Íslandsbanki bought Byr hf. and the banks merged under the Íslandsbanki logo at the end of 2011.


    Kreditkort was established in 1980 and was the first company in Iceland to offer credit cards. The company became an independent card issuer in 2008, when its predecessor split the company into Kreditkort and Borgun. Íslandsbanki acquired Kreditkort in 2011.


    Auður Capital and Íslandsbanki

    Auður Capital and Íslandsbanki agreed to combine their private pension savings products, Future Wealth and Lífeyrissparnað Íslandsbanki, under the name Future Wealth VÍB. There were about 15,800 fund members in Future Wealth VÍB after the merger.