Saeima pushes forward anti-money laundering amendments

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Saeima in the first reading on Thursday moved forward amendments to several laws intended to step up the country's game against money laundering in its credit institutions. 

The amendments are to increase the power of Latvia's financial regulator--the Financial and Capital Markets Commission--as well as increase fines for banks and bank employees participating in money laundering schemes.

The financial regulator will be empowered to hire independent third parties during staff shortages and cases when special expertise is needed. 

Experts have for several years now pointed at money laundering risks in and feeble regulation of Latvia's banking system. 

Latvia has recently stepped up efforts to show it is serious about addressing allegations of money laundering within the boutique banking sector to prove it is ready to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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