Iceland capital control removal ‘depends on euro crisis’

Iceland’s economic minister has said that the country may have to delay its plans to remove capital controls by the end of 2015 due to uncertainty in the euro zone. Speaking with Morgunbladid newspaper, Steingrimur J Sigfusson said he is concerned that foreign investors will remove all of their savings from Iceland as soon as the measures are relaxed.

“The capital controls reduce the chances of a run on our currency and a capital flight” Sigfusson told the Reykjavik- based newspaper. “It’s clear that we have to evaluate the capital controls removal plan in light of the situation in Europe,” he added.

According to an estimate by Arion Bank hf, the controls have kept around $8 billion of investor assets from leaving the country. The measures were imposed in 2008 after the Icelandic banking system was sent into disarray with the collapse of its three biggest lenders.