Latvia's Meridian Trade Bank warned over risk exposure

Meridian Trade Bank (MTB) has been warned by Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FKTK) over its risk exposure, the regulator said in a statement June 20.

FKTK said the warning was issued on June 18 after its level of exposure was deemed to have exceeded 25% of the bank's capital. No financial penalty was imposed.

"FKTK will provide monitoring measures to determine whether the Bank is implementing the planned measures to remedy the infringement," the regulator said. 

The warning came despite previous infractions by MTB which have resulted in financial penalties.

On May 25 last year, FKTK said it had "entered into an administrative agreement" with Meridian Trade Bank, imposing legal obligations and a fine of 455,822 euros for anti- money laundering failures. 

Before that in November 2017, FKTK announced a fine of 900,000 euros against MTB for reasons relating to risk management.

Last October it was fined 14,000 euros for not submitting an audited annual report and in April this year it was fined a further 13,000 euros for the same thing, according to FKTK's own data

SMP Bank changed its name to Meridian Trade Bank in 2014 after Russia's SMP sold its stake in the company to a group of Latvia-resident individuals when SMP was added to the US' sanctions list.

The head office is located in the historic center of Riga directly opposite the Latvian cabinet building. The bank continues to tout the benefits of its clients obtaining an "'EU residence permit" on its corporate website.

"Residence permit allows free (visa-free) movement in all countries of the Schengen Agreement, the right to work in Latvia, free schooling in Latvia and the right to execute visa invitations for relatives," it says, even offering "Personal escorting during the submission of documents to the Department of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of the Republic of Latvia in the city of Riga" and provision of translation services from Latvian to Russian for the purpose.

 

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