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Nordics and Baltics hire IMF to probe regional money-laundering risks

Latvia is among a group of Nordic and Baltic countries that are asking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to conduct an analysis of cross-border money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the region, the Latvian Central Bank, (Latvijas Banka, LB) said in a statement January 21.

The eight countries of the Nordic-Baltic Constituency of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have taken the initiative to engage the IMF to conduct a regional analysis of money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) threats and vulnerabilities.

The eight countries that will be included in the analysis are: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.

The IMF has been asked "to analyse the most pertinent ML/TF threats and vulnerabilities in the region given the interconnectedness of the financial systems and particularly the many cross-border banking networks and relationships in the Nordic-Baltic region. Bringing in the perspective of the IMF, which has a reputation as a trusted and independent advisor on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), provides an opportunity to analyse risks to the region as a whole, analyse relevant progress to mitigate those risks, and make recommendations for the future," LB said.

The region has in recent years suffered from a series of major banking scandals involving money-laundering and sanctions evasion, with even the Scandinavian banks that were formerly regarded as being squeaky-clean proving to have a less ethical side than many assumed.

The IMF will begin its work in January 2021 and is expected to report its findings in mid-2022.

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