ABLV bank faces Frankfurt pitch for its future at ECB

ABLV bank, at the center of allegations from the U.S. Treasury that it is a business based on "institutionalized money laundering" is to present its future plan to the European Central Bank in a bid to show it has a future, the bank's senior figures said February 19.

Representatives of ABLV Bank, the third largest commercial bank in Latvia, will go to Frankfurt on Monday evening to pitch a stabilization plan on Tuesday, 20 February, to the ECB Ernests Bernis, Chairman of the Board of ABLV Bank, stated at a press conference on Monday.

After apologizing to clients after the bank's payments were frozen by the ECB, Bernis told reporters that the bank's liquidity and capital adequacy ratio was "strongly" above the level set by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK). 

"Our main difficulties, first of all, were the difficulty of accessing our own resources, and of course, if that's the case, it would put additional pressure on the current budget," Bernis said.

In the last four days the bank managed to sell securities worth around EUR 200 million. The Bank of Latvia has lent just under 100 million euros against security bonds. 

Since the release of a damning report from the U.S. Treasury into the bank's methods and culture, depositors have pulled out around 600 million euros, leading to the liquidity squeeze.

Bernis refrained from mentioning how much money still needed to stabilize ABLV Bank, though an earlier release mentioned that the bank was seeking 480 million euros in support. 

"Tomorrow we'll be in Frankfurt and then we'll get a clear answer," Bernis said.

Under the classifications used by Latvian and European authorities, ABLV is classed as a systemically important bank.

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