Latvia's Norvik banka has told LSM it follows all domestic and international rules on money laundering and client checking following a story from Al Jazeera earlier this week that alleged Norvik was one of three Latvian banks (the others being PrivatBank and Baltic International Bank) used in an elaborate large scale fraud involving Ukrainian oligarchs.
The original story and the film itself can be seen HERE.
Norvik told LSM it could not respond in detail to the claims due to obligations to guarantee client confidentiality.
"But we can inform [you] that Norvik Bank has made a series of improvements and has undertaken systematic work in order to take all possible steps to strengthen compliance with the highest international standards," the bank said.
"The Bank fully complies with all relevant AML and Sanction regulations of Latvia and EU and the Bank continuously improves its AML and Sanction policies and procedures. The Bank uses Accuity (Reed Business International) for sanctions screening lists, and this is processed via FICO-Tonbeller’s Siron Embargo solution. Historically the Bank only used the official (UN, EU, OFAC) sanctions lists from the relevant official sources, in combination with the Accuity standard sanctions list (only officially sanctioned persons)," it added.
But it did say it had recently agreed to hire an agency to supply an "extended" sanctions list.
"The Bank has now contracted with Accuity to purchase their Extended Sanctions Lists – this is their in-house solution where all sanctioned persons and all related parties to them are presented (e.g. all branch addresses for sanctioned banks, all BIC codes for sanctioned banks, all subsidiary companies of sanctioned companies). Sanctions lists are updated on a daily basis. All SEPA and SWIFT payments are screened before being released via the Siron Embargo solution. Thus the Bank has relevant AML and Sanction control in place in order to manage AML and Sanction risk and to prevent the Bank of being involved in any AML or Sanction violations," Norvik said.