Deputy chairman may take over Latvia's finance watchdog

Take note – story published 8 years and 4 months ago

The Bank of Latvia President Ilmars Rimsevics and Finance Minister Janis Reirs (Unity) have nominated the Financial and Capital Market Commission's (FKTK) deputy chairman Peters Putnins as the commission's head, reported LETA Monday.

The proposal will be reviewed by Saeima Presidium today, and the final decision will be taken by Saeima plenary. If instated, Putnins' term in office will be six years.

Rimsevics and Reirs will then have to nominate a deputy chairman of the Financial and Capital Market Commission. According to the Law on the Financial and Capital Market Commission, the commission's chairperson and deputy chairperson are nominated by the Bank of Latvia president and finance minister, and approved by Saeima.

According to a press release, Reirs and Rimsevics think that Putnins is the most suitable candidate for the most urgent tasks - fighting money laundering and OECD accession talks. 

Meanwhile, Economics Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, expected to become Finance Minister in the new government, told independent TV station LNT Monday that she doubts whether the deputy will be able to change something in the work of the regulator. She said it is more important to decide on the future plans of the management of the FKTK as well as to rebuild trust and solve problems in the circulation of illegal funds.

Putnins was appointed deputy head of the Financial and Capital Market Commission in December 2012. Before that, he had worked at the Bank of Latvia, Regionala investiciju banka, insurance companies Balta and Rigas fenikss, as well as the law office Spade un Mikelsons.

Putnins was born in 1973, he has degrees in law and international relations from the University of Latvia.

As LSM reported, the previous head Kristaps Zakulis stepped down over criticism that the regulator hadn't done enough to prevent money laundering via Latvia's boutique banks. If approved by the Saeima, Putnins will face the difficult task of reviving the reputation of the FKTK, which until recently did not even reveal the names of the banks it fined.

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