Regulator puts off decision on ABLV bank liquidation plan

Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FKTK) has still not decided whether or not to accept a self-liquidation plan proposed by ABLV bank three months ago, reported LTV June 1st.

A decision regarding the plan was expected to be made today, but as it turned out, no action was taken with the head of the regulator Peters Putniņš citing the complexity of the case as a reason for future deliberations with no deadline yet identified for a decision.

However, he hinted that liquidation rather than self-liquidation was the more likely decision - without actually committing to anything at all.

"In order to ensure an analysis of whether all the concerns have been removed of money laundering, the money that will be paid to creditors, that it is clean and that they are really people who can receive their own money - all the control mechanism that will be put in place on this liquidation platform, rather allows us to talk about liquidation of the bank," Putniņš said by way of explanation.

No new deadline was set by the commission for approval or rejection of ABLV's plan.

The bank announced its intention to liquidate itself in late February in the wake of a damning report by the U.S. Treasury accusing it of institutionalized money laundering on a massive scale and sanctions-busting. The bank said the accusations were based on out-of-date information but a subsequent liquidity crunch drove it to apply to wind up its operations. FKTK has been considering the request ever since.

Earlier this week, senior U.S. Treasury official Marshall Billingslea spoke with LSM and said he hoped the Latvian regulator would "step forward and assume direct responsibility for its enforcement role going forward."

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