Decline and fall of ABLV's banking empire

Take note – story published 6 years and 3 months ago

The Baltic Center for Invetigative Journalism, Re:Baltica, has produced a piece tracing the timeline of the recent collapse of ABLV bank.

Titled How Americans Took Down A Latvian Laundromat, the lengthy piece rounds up most of the known facts about the curious and occasionally chaotic way in which ABLV bank went from thrusting financial institution to bust business, and adds some background from people involved in the decisions to shut the bank down.

It also gives a picture of a Latvian side taken by surprise by a U.S. decision to level extremely serious allegations against the bank in public. Indeed, as previously reported, when LSM contacted ABLV for comment on the allegations on February 13, the bank itself was unaware that the U.S. State Department had gone public with its allegations of institutionalized money laundering.

And despite reassurances from officials that ABLV was not a systemically important bank, the Latvian financial regulator, FKTK, was worried ABLV's collapse would spread to four other banks specializing in non-resident deposits, Re:Baltica asserts, citing a leaked letter to the central bank.

The piece concludes with a quote from Aivis Ronis, a former Latvian Foreign Minister and ABLV bank board member who says "With this, the Americans showed us one thing: in the hybrid war with Russia, they have a strong financial weapon that they won’t hesitate to use.”

The full piece can be read at the Re:Baltic website HERE.


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