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Iceland FSA Head Derides Investigation Into His Fitness for Job

The head of Iceland’s financial watchdog, Gunnar Andersen, questioned the motivation behind an investigation into his ability to lead the regulator that last week prompted its board to seek his resignation.

Andersen, who became chief executive officer at the Financial Supervisory Authority in Reykjavik in April, 2009, was asked Feb. 17 to step down because he didn’t disclose holdings in a bank he worked for 11 years ago. A probe this month by independent auditors for the FSA’s board questioned Andersen’s decision not to report his link to two offshore holding companies owned by Landsbanki Islands hf.

“The continued and pointless probes are in reality a servitude to those parties that most fear the FSA and the efficient operations of the regulator under my control,” Andersen said in a written response to the FSA board, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Bloomberg.

The investigation into Andersen’s former job as an executive at Landsbanki before its October 2008 collapse is the latest of three such probes. The first two found he hadn’t breached any laws and was fit to continue as head of the FSA.

The regulator’s board will review Andersen’s letter today, said Chairman Adalsteinn Leifsson, in a Feb. 17 interview.

“Once the board has reviewed his response, a final decision on his termination will be taken, as early as Tuesday,” he said.

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