Financial regulator slaps fine on Expobank

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Just two days after an OECD report highlighted serious concerns with due diligence performed by Latvian boutique banks, the country's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Markets Commission announced Friday it was fining a bank for precisely that reason.

"The Board of the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has decided to impose a fine of €105 000 on AS Expobank for deficiencies identified in customer due diligence and their transaction monitoring. During inspections, FCMC found out that the Bank had failed to provide for the appropriate documenting of customer due diligence and transaction monitoring in accordance with regulatory requirements," the regulator said of the remarkable coincidence.

"According to the Law on the Prevention of Laundering the Proceeds from Criminal Activity (Money Laundering) and of Terrorist Financing and the FCMC Regulations for Enhanced Customer Due Diligence before starting business relationship with the customer the Bank must perform enhanced customer due diligence, if there are any high risk characteristics, and the activities of a customer must be assessed on an ongoing basis to be fully aware of transactions performed, accompanied with documenting the process."

In theory the fine could have been stiffer - up to 10 percent of the bank's revenue in the previous financial year or €837,876. 

"In fixing the amount of the fine at €105 000, FCMC has taken into account the nature of shortcomings identified, as well as the fact that the Bank had already eliminated part of deficiencies by the moment of imposition of penalty and it still continues to enhance its internal control system," FCMC said. 

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