Latvian central bank shuts down credit union over suspected illegalities

On March 13, 2024, the supervisory committee of the Bank of Latvia annulled the license of Pūņi Cooperative Credit Union (Pūņi KKS), the bank said in a statement. 

"The decision to cancel the license of Pūņi KKS was made because the Bank of Latvia has found violations and possibly illegal activities in the operation of Pūņi KKS, about which the Bank of Latvia has informed the law enforcement authorities," statement said.

During off-site supervision and on-site inspections, regulators "found several violations of regulatory acts" in the operation of Pūņi KKS, and "has obtained more and more evidence of violations in the operation of Pūņi KKS and dishonest behavior," the bank stated. Therefore the Supervisory Committee of the Bank of Latvia made a decision on March 13 to cancel the license issued to Pūņi KKS in 1999.

A cooperative credit union is a financial cooperative founded and managed by its members to provide its members with financial services - deposits, loans, etc. Currently 28 cooperative credit unions operate in Latvia, but they occupies a very small part of the financial sector – approximately 0.1% of the total assets of the financial sector.

After canceling the license, Pūņi KKS, which is based in Talsi district, is not entitled to continue operating in the financial market as a credit union and deposits are now unavailable to depositors, but will eventually be paid out from the Deposit Guarantee Fund. Payment of the guaranteed compensation to the depositors of Pūņi KKS will start on March 22, 2024. 

Applications for guaranteed compensation will be accepted:

  • electronically, if the application is signed with a secure electronic signature and sent to the official electronic address of the Bank of Latvia or to the e-mail address [email protected] ;
  • in person at Latvijas Banka's customer counters in Riga, Bezdelīgu Street 3, during Latvijas Banka's working hours.

The depositor must indicate their account number and attach supporting documents.

Information on the procedure for paying the guaranteed compensation will also be published in the official publication "Latvijas Vēstnesis".



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