In his speech Mr. Sophusson said that the Bank paid a total of 12.4bn ISK in taxes and public levies, including the FME supervision levy in 2013. The special Bank Tax, which was imposed last year, amounted to 2.3bn ISK. The Government has stated that the new levies would be temporary to cover costs related to its new household debt relief programme, which was presented recently.
Furthermore, the Chairman said that it is important that the Government would keep its promise regarding the extraordinary taxation scheme as it greatly reduces the efficiency of the banking system and furthermore counters the various actions and initiatives, taken by Íslandsbanki over during the last few years, to reduce costs and streamline operations.
Mr. Sophusson said it´s clear that the current shareholders of Íslandsbanki are not the future owners of the Bank and their objective is to sell their stake when conditions are appropriate. “I would especially like to emphasise that the current owners have never tried to influence any decision making of Íslandsbanki‘s BoD on the cost of other stakeholders. Glitnir Bank, which owns 95% stake in the Bank through two subsidiaries, has expressed interest to explore the possibility to publicly list the Bank´s equity.”
Mr. Sophusson said it is vital that Íslandsbanki will remain in private ownership, either by domestic or foreign owners. He stressed the importance that these owners would have an interest in conducting financial activities in Iceland, are focused on the long run prosperity of the bank and society and are interested in working with Icelandic businesses and participating in the development of Icelandic commerce and industry. Foreign ownership of Íslandsbanki could have positive effect on the countries balance of payments, open access to foreign capital and create favourable conditions for the removal of the capital controls.
Birna Einarsdóttir, CEO, said that 2013 represented a year of solid achievement and consolidation. All of Íslandsbanki’s business divisions turned in strong individual performances, which combined to produce a particularly satisfying overall result. In all sectors of the financial market, the Bank has achieved the kind of market share it aspires to, and it has shown its quality across its product and service range. Rising levels of customer satisfaction mirror the Bank’s vision to be number one for service and clear leadership in terms of professionalism.
The results of the Annual General Meeting
No changes were made to the Board of Directors. The meeting approved a payment of ISK 4.0 bn ISK in dividends. The meeting also approved that Deloitte hf. will be reappointed as auditors for the next year. No changes were made to the bank‘s remuneration policy
Annual report, Risk Report and Chairman´s note can be found here.