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SFO launches Kaupthing investigation after misrepresentation claims

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating Kaupthing Bank, following suspicions that the bank made misrepresentations in a bid to attract UK investors prior to its collapse.

The SFO is particularly interested in efforts made to attract UK investors to the purportedly ‘high yield’ deposit account, Kaupthing Edge. The SFO estimate that over 30,000 UK individuals, companies and organisations invested into this deposit account.

The investigation will seek to identify whether misrepresentations or false representations were communicated by the bank in the push to attract UK investors prior to its collapse in October 2008. 

Another focus will centre on the bank’s decision making processes, which appears to have allowed substantial value to be extracted from the bank in the weeks and days prior to its collapse.

An SFO spokesman says: “This is a complex investigation which crosses numerous jurisdictions. We have been working closely with the Icelandic Special Prosecutor’s Office to ensure that comprehensive and robust investigations are conducted both in Iceland and the United Kingdom and to ensure that there is no duplication of effort. We will continue to do so.”

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