Banks to probe clients' ties to politics

Banks in Latvia will send questionnaires to their clients in order to identify politically exposed persons, their relatives and associates, Martins Bicevskis, President of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks, told LETA Monday.

Banks estimate that there may be 10,000 to 15,000 politically exposed persons in Latvia. Together with their relatives and persons they are closely associated with, the total number may be around 200,000.

Early February, Saeima passed amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, tasking banks with monitoring finances of politically exposed persons more closely.

From March 1 the status of a politically exposed person applies not only to high-ranking officials, such as parliament members and ministers, but also to their relatives and persons they are closely associated with.

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