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Latvian regulator issues warning about British-registered company

Latvia's banking regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) warned March 29 about a British-registered financial services company that has reportedly been trying to do business in Latvia illegally.

"[The FKTK] has received information that the services of BEDFORD PAY LTD, an electronic money institution licensed in the United Kingdom, are being actively offered to Latvian residents. The Commission warns that since 01.01.2021 BEDFORD PAY LTD does not have the right to provide electronic money and payment services in Latvia," the regulator said.

"The FKTK draws attention to the general changes in the regulations on the provision of financial services from financial service provider registered in Great Britain caused by Brexit... British financial institutions since 01.01.2021 are not entitled to offer and provide financial services in Latvia themselves or through a local representative, if they have not obtained the necessary permits for further operations from Latvia or one of the Member States of the European Economic Area and have notified the FKTK thereof," it added.

At the same time, it should be noted that British financial institutions have the right to continue to serve existing customers who are Latvian residents, with whom a financial services agreement was concluded before 31.12.2020, if the customers have explicitly agreed that the relevant agreements will continue to operate in accordance with UK regulations (not European Union or Latvian regulations).

"Latvian residents also have the right to apply to and receive services from financial institutions registered in Great Britain. However, customers should be aware that this customer-service provider relationship will not be bound by European Union or Latvian regulations and legal protection," the regulator pointed out

"If there is a desire to cooperate with a financial institution registered in Great Britain or another third country, the FKTK invites Latvian residents to carefully make sure that the financial service provider has received the necessary operating permits in its country of registration," it concluded.

According to UK company data, the owners and directors of Bedford Pay Ltd., which was founded in 2017, are two Latvian nationals, Vladislavs Belskis and Vladislavs Boroviks, who are listed as UK residents.

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