Lawyers representing Latvia’s ABLV Bank, the local Latvian bank which is currently liquidating itself in response to U.S. allegations of institutionalized money laundering, have called on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury to cancel planned sanctions against the bank.
David Cohen, former deputy director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and supervisor of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), now a partner at the international law firm WilmerHale, is representing Latvian commercial bank ABLV Bank in its dispute with FinCEN, the bank told LETA April 18.
Four candidates remain in the competition to become Latvia's new anti-money laundering chief, according to an official release from the government press office April 17.
From 17 to 22 April, Latvia's Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola is attending the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Summit in Washington D.C., the ministry said April 17.
Latvia’s ABLV Bank whose shareholders made a decision on voluntary liquidation, will fire 250 employees in April, said ABLV group’s spokesman Arturs Eglitis April 13.
The Latvian government on April 10 upheld the bill proposed by the Finance Ministry to restrict financial transactions by high-risk customers in the Latvian finance sector.
The European Central Bank said on April 6 it has asked the European Court of Justice to decide whether Latvian authorities have violated the law by preventing the head of Latvia's central bank from doing his job while he is investigated for suspected corruption.
Latvia's Finance Ministry has mapped out a bill with amendments to the Latvian Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, banning finance bodies from doing business with shell companies.
All banks currently operating in Latvia have confirmed to the financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) that they will continue their operations in the financial sector, Ieva Upleja, head of FKTK's Communications Department, told the LETA newswire April 4.
Rietumu banka - one of Latvia's banks specializing in serving non-resident clients, has cut staff numbers by about 15% in 2018, and now the bank employs about 600 people, the bank's press secretary Eleonora Gailiša told LETA.
From March 3, when the Citadele bank started paying out state-guaranteed compensations to the clients of imploded ABLV Bank, a total 5,000 clients have been paid a total of about €83 million, Citadele representative Baiba Ābelniece told Latvian Radio April 3.
Little-known Latvian bank LPB (formerly Latvijas Pasta Banka/Latvian Postal Bank) said March 29 it had drawn up a new business model to keep it a viable concern as regulatory heat is turned up in the non-resident banking sector.
New data released by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK), Latvia's financial regulator, show that in 2017 the banking sector contracted, with both deposits and new loans reducing markedly.
Companies registered in the United Kingdom but with unclear beneficiaries - so-called "shell companies" - make up a large chunk of the problematic accounts currently held in Latvia's boutique banks, reports LSM's Latvian language service, citing the LETA newswire.
Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) has issued a fine to a money transfer company and issued a warning about the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has told Latvian Radio he believes his presence on the council of Latvia's Norvik Bank will help the bank and the sector as a whole clean up its act.
Estonia's Versobank faces a similar fate to Latvia's ABLV bank March 26 with the announcement by the European Central Bank and the country's financial regulator that it will have its license withdrawn.
Due to an ongoing corruption investigation against the Latvian central bank governor, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs , Latvia will instead send the deputy governor to the annual Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., this April, the LETA newswire reports.
Latvia's government on March 24 tried to convince the world it is serious about cleaning up its banking sector with the release of an English-subtitled video to YouTube.
Banking industry figures from all three Baltic states met in Rīga March 23 to discuss where the industry is heading in future.
The Association of Latvian Commercial Banks (ALCB) said March 22 it agreed with the need for a legal ban on cooperating with unacceptably high-risk clients, especially with shell companies that do not engage in real business activities.
Latvian banks should, within the next six months, stop business with the so-called shell companies, which often are of unclear origin and are often used in money laundering schemes, said Finance and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) chairman Peters Putnins in an interview with commercial LNT television March 20.
The Bank of Latvia last year posted €23.884 million in profit, which is two times higher than in 2016, the Bank of Latvia press service reported.
The board of Rietumu banka, which is widely regarded as the most successful of Latvia's numerous banks specializing in "non-resident" business, has changed its operating currency of its customers to the euro, amidst a reputation crisis in Latvia's banking sector, the bank told the press March 14.
Latvia's institutions are to examine the alleged holding of secret Latvian bank accounts by the daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, reported Latvian Television March 14.
About 500 third-country nationals have residency permits in Latvia, provided in exchange for deposits in the country's banks. About 70 of these permits were provided for deposits in the imploding ABLV Bank, and these are likely not to be renewed upon expiration, reports Latvian Radio March 15.
There are 26,081 shell companies among clients of Latvian banks, including two companies of Latvian origin, Ieva Upleja, a spokeswoman for the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), told LETA March 14.
It is likely that Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Treasury, has provided Latvia's anti-graft authorities with information over corruption in the Latvian banking sector during his visit in Latvia last week, reported LTV's De Facto March 11.
U.S. publication Mother Jones has reproduced a lengthy extract from a new book about the latter days of the Obama White House which includes a remarkable aside about Latvia.