A group of about 20 employees of the holding company Kaupþing could be receiving bonuses totaling almost ISK 1.5 billion (USD 12.82 million, EUR 11.35 million), or ISK 50-100 million per person, to be paid out at the end of April next year, RÚV reports. The suggestion to implement this bonus system will be discussed at the company’s annual general meeting next week. For the most part, the bonus recipients will be those who already received millions of ISK when Kaupþing finalized its composition agreement at the beginning of the year.
This time, though, the anticipated bonuses will be much more generous, provided that the employees succeed in reaching certain goals aimed at maximizing the value of unsold Kaupþing assets and, thereby, the recovered assets of the company’s creditors. Kaupþing still holds an 87 percent stake in Arion Bank, but the company’s total assets amount to ISK 475 billion (USD 4 billion, EUR 3.6 billion).
The company does not fall under laws limiting bonuses to a quarter of employees’ annual salaries, because it’s not subject to mandatory supervision, according to the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority. Davíð Stefánsson, communications director for Kaupþing stated that the company declined to comment.
On Tuesday, MP Elsa Lára Árnadóttir, Progressive Party, objected to the bonus plan in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament:
“What’s going on here?” she asked. “The banks make money right and left while homeowners pay outrageously high interest rates and banking fees have rarely been higher… Isn’t it time to return the profit to the homes, for example in the form of lower interest rates?”