Latvian banks join pan-European payment system

An instant payment system, RT1, run by EBA Clearing, a company established by European banks, went live 21 November 2017, with two Latvian banks involved, the Latvian central bank (LB) said in a statement.

Regulator vows to root out 'phantom' bank clients

Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) has vowed to continue the battle against "phantom" clients in the country's boutique banking sector, often part of money-laundering schemes.

Anti-money laundering experts open Riga bureau

November 8 saw the opening in Riga of a pan-Baltic office (or "chapter" to use the official designation of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), an organization dedicated to improving the fight against illicit flows of cash - a problem that over the last decade has been a constant problem within the Latvian banking sector.

Former bank regulator joins bank board

Latvia's former top financial regulator, Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) head Kristaps Zakulis, has been confirmed as a member of the board at Luminor Bank, the LETA newswire reported on Friday 13th October.

Massive Azerbaijan 'laundromat' scheme had a Latvian connection

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) released fresh details September 4 of an alleged 2.9 billion dollar money laundering operation involving Azerbaijan's authoritarian leadership clan and bribes paid to European politicians, often using British-registered companies.

Banks make nearly €200m profit so far this year

Latvia's banks operated with a profit of nearly €200 million during the first seven months of the year according to data released August 29 by the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FKTK).

Central bank touts new 'instant payment' capability

The Latvian Central Bank (Latvijas Banka, LB) said August 28 it had developed a system enabling banks to provide instant payment services to their customers: an opportunity to transfer money from an account in one bank to an account in another bank "within a matter of seconds on any day and at any time of the day." 

Graph: Latvian banks post growing profits

Despite being hit with unprecedented fines and subjected to increasing regulatory scrutiny, banks continue to post staggering profits in Latvia, with the 2016 profit of the banking sector up 9.1% on year over 2015.

Banking sector clean-up must continue says President

President Raimonds Vejonis said Tuesday that efforts to clean up Latvia's financial services sector must continue after the country signs up to membership of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on June 2.

Rietumu pulls out of banking association

Rietumu bank, which is widely regarded as the most successful of Latvia's numerous banks specializing in "non-resident" business, is to leave the main industry body, the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks (ALCB), it was announced Wednesday.

Mass audit will try to improve banking sector's reputation

In an unprecedented move, Latvia's financial regulator the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FKTK) has announced a major audit of the country's numerous boutique banks in an effort to reassure the US and EU that the sector is not awash with laundered money. 

Moody's boosts Baltic banking outlook to stable

Moody's Investors Service has changed the outlook on the Baltic banking systems to stable from the previously negative outlook. Moody's anticipates that solid economic fundamentals will support credit growth, asset quality and profitability over the next 12 to 18 months, Baiba Melnace of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks told LETA Friday.

Banking sector deposits grow slightly for the year

In the first eleven months of 2014 total deposits in Latvia’s commercial banking sector grew by 1.5%, or €320.2m, according to data released by the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FKTK) Monday.