Latvian bank opens US «advisory office»

Latvia's largest home-grown bank, ABLV, has opened a new office in the United States, the bank announced Thursday

"With the purpose of acquiring new target regions and being closer to its business partners, ABLV Advisory Services, SIA, a member of ABLV Group, has opened an office in the USA, one of the biggest countries of the world financial system," the bank said in a statement.

The opening shows the bank - formerly known as Aizkraukles Banka - has come a long way from its humble origins in the small central Latvian town of Aizkraukle.  

The US office is staffed, located in New York and has started operating and will "focus on establishing mutually beneficial international business contacts for certain members of the ABLV Group as well as conducting research about the US regulatory environment."

However, the bank made it clear that "In compliance with Article V-B of the New York Banking Law, the office will not represent ABLV Bank, AS" and will be merely an advisory office not an actual bank branch.

The head of the office is Charles J. Lansdown, who has previous experience with HSH Nordbank, most recently "dealing with U.S. and German regulatory compliance with focus on the emerging and increasing requirements for Anti-Money Laundering," according to his LinkedIn profile.

ABLV Group is now represented in 10 countries; it has 12 representative offices in different cities and a subsidiary in Luxembourg, ABLV Bank Luxembourg, S.A.

ABLV Advisory Services, SIA is owned by the largest independent private bank in Latvia, ABLV Bank, AS. ABLV Group includes ABLV Bank, AS; ABLV Bank Luxembourg, S.A.; ABLV Capital Markets, IBAS; ABLV Asset Management, IPAS; Pillar Holding Company, KS; ABLV Consulting Services, AS; ABLV Corporate Services, SIA; ABLV Advisory Services, SIA; New Hanza City, SIA, and other companies. ABLV Group has representative offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Kiev, Odessa, Minsk, Almaty, Baku, Tashkent, Hong Kong, Limassol and New York.

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