ABLV membership of banking association suspended

ABLV bank the Latvian lender at the center of serious allegations of money-laundering by the U.S. authorities has had its membership of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks (ALCB) "temporarily suspended" the association said February 16.

"The ALCB Council met today to review the current situation following the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) notice of proposed rulemaking and to review the information provided by the ABLV Bank. The Council endorsed ABLV Bank motion to temporarily suspend its membership at the Association," a brief statement said.

The news came after Latvia's financial regulator the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FKTK) said in the morning that the defects found in ABLV Bank were based on past events, but over the past two years there has been a lot of improvement in the field of combating money laundering.

Peters Putnins, the head of FKTK, said he was investigating the bank but that no restrictions had yet been placed on the bank or its operations.

Regarding the allegation that the bank had been busting sanctions against North Korea case, he said that ABLV did not directly violate sanctions according to Latvian rules, but US legislation took a more stringent definition of what constitutes such an act.

Putnins expressed confidence that FKTK officials had not been those mentioned as bribery targets in the U.S. report.

"We do not have any information about this. As for our organization, there is no such problem," said the head of the regulator.

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