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SFO launches a probe into Kaupthing over Edge account

THE Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched an investigation into the UK operations of Kaupthing, the Icelandic bank that imploded in October 2008.

The SFO is particularly interested in the high yield Kaupthing Edge savings account, which was marketed by subsidiary Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander and attracted more than 30,000 UK customers.

The SFO said: “The investigation will seek to identify whether misrepresentations were communicated by the bank in the push to attract UK investors.”

The SFO is also expected to interview Mike Ashley and Robert Tchenguiz about their dealings with Kaupthing. There is no suggestion they have done anything wrong.

The FSA seized £2.5bn assets in Kaupthing Edge in October 2008, transferring them to ING Direct to stem a run on deposits as fears grew over the health of the parent bank.

Fraud investigators began looking at the account this September after a meeting with Olufar Thor Hauksson, Iceland’s special prosecutor. Hauksson said his team was working closely with the SFO, as is Kaupthing’s administrator in Iceland.