Bill passed – Tackling offshore accounts and currency restrictions


A new bill designed to free up the foreign exchange restrictions of the Icelandic krona was passed in parliament last night. There have been limitations and restrictions on the Icelandic Krona since the 2008 financial crash, the bill is designed with that in mind, but it also includes a clause designed to tackle the issue of Icelandic ownership of offshore accounts in tax havens around the world. There are currently around 319 billion Icelandic kronas being used from offshore accounts with a rate of exchange far below the domestic currency marked value. The bill instructs how to handle and limit offshore account ownership, the handling of Icelandic currency on offshore accounts and how deposit institutions are obligated to move ownership of Icelandic currency offshore before September 1st onto accounts subject to particular limitations. Foreign stock exchange centres are also able apply to move assets onto accounts with the Icelandic central bank.
The names of almost 170 individuals and a considerable amount of companies directly related to Iceland and Icelanders are found in the newly released data based on the Panama Papers, not including the Icelanders related to companies registered outside Iceland, like Luxembourg and the UK. This is the first bill of two submitted in parliament, the bill passed with 47 votes. The Left-Green Movement and the Pirate party abstained from voting due to the short time the ruling parties gave parliament to review the bill. Icelanders famously took to the streets in protest when the Panama papers were released, protesting the corruption of the rich in Iceland.