This past summer, the Latvian State Police opened a criminal case on possible money laundering schemes at ABLV Bank, which is currently undergoing a liquidation process.
It's certainly been an eventful year in the life of the Latvian central bank, Latvijas Banka.
Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis gained a byline in world-famous British newspaper The Financial Times September 30 with an opinion piece talking about government plans to tackle money-laundering and financial crime.
By September 18, about 3,300 creditors of the ABLV Bank, which is in the process of folding, have submitted claims for €2 billion, or about 98% of the bank's total obligations.
On 25 September, the Latvian government approved what it called a "comprehensive Action Plan" in response to the recommendations included in Moneyval’s recent evaluation of Latvia’s anti-money laundering system, which has been in sharp focus ever since ABLV bank's fortunes nosedived in the wake of money laundering accusations from the U.S. authorities.
On Wednesday, 26 September, Latvijas Banka is issuing a 2 euro commemorative coin dedicated to the Zemgale region of Latvia.
The level of non-resident deposits (NRDs) in the Latvian banking sector continues to fall according to latest information released by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK), the industry regulator.
Luminor, a bank formed from the merging of the Baltic operations of DNB and Nordea, announced September 13 that it is selling a majority stake to a consortium led by private equity funds managed by investment company Blackstone.
The Financial Sector Development Council, a working group called by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis in the wake of the ABLV bank scandal, on 11 September approved an action plan to strengthen Latvia’s anti-money laundering capabilities, and its ability to combat the financing of terrorism and weapons
proliferation, a statement from the government press office said.
proliferation, a statement from the government press office said.
Bank of Latvia President Ilmārs Rimšēvičs has appointed his deputy Zoja Razmusa as his proxy to represent him on the European Central Bank (ECB) Council, the Latvian central bank’s spokesman Janis Silakalns told the LETA newswire September 10.
The body representing most of Latvia's commercial banks said September 6 the banking sector had shown signs of stabilization in the second quarter of the year following a turbulent first quarter.
During a meeting with the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) delegation, Pēters Putniņš, Chairman of the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) talked up a "radical transformation of the Latvian bank business model" according to a statement released by FKTK September 5.
Latvia's central bank is to get back to basics and take a break from the corruption scandal that has sullied its name by concentrating on the everyday business of making payments at its annual conference next month.
It has not been the easiest year so far for Latvia's financial sector, to put it mildly. ABLV bank has gone into liquidation following allegations of money-laundering from the U.S., the central bank governor has been charged with corruption and officials have scrambled to introduce reforms to prevent the sector being frozen out of the mainstream financial trading systems.
A new investigation by online news portal Buzzfeed in collaboration with members of the Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism, Re:Baltica focuses on a foreign expert and a report on Latvia's non-resident banks.
The Association of Latvian Commercial Banks announced July 25 it is changing its name and expanding its activities to become the Finance Latvia Association.
When a bank becomes insolvent or undergoes liquidation, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) should only revoke the bank's license - it should not have to also nominate the bank's insolvency administrator, the commission's chairman Peters Putnins told the LETA newswire July 16.
Sweden's SEB is to combine its Baltic life insurance businesses into one company in order to simplify the organization's operation model, the banking organization said July 13.
Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) said July 12 the banking license of ABLV bank, which is currently undergoing a process of so-called "self-liquidation" had been cancelled by the European Central Bank.
Following the introduction of legislation banning Latvian banks from doing business with "'shell companies" the proportion of accounts still held by such entities is very small, the Fianncial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK), Latvia's financial regulator, said July 3.
Since winter, there has been a significant outflow of non-resident deposits from Latvia, and the term "non-residents" should disappear in the Latvian banking sector in the future, Peters Putniņš, chairman of the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK), said in an interview with Latvian Radio June 29.
In some much-needed good news for Latvia's banking sector, Swedish-owned SEB banka has won an annual Fair Trade Award for building its business and relations with employees, suppliers and partners on the basis of respect, honesty and sustainability.
Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) announced June 12 it had decided to allow ABLV bank to undergo a process of self-liquidation.
The Association of Latvian Commercial Banks (ALCB) has produced a summary of the financial trends in the banking sector during the first quarter of 2018 - a period of considerable developments caused by the collapse of ABLV bank and a subsequent scramble to clean up the non-resident banks. As a result, there are some eye-catching statistics among the data.
The number of so-called "shell companies" - corporate entities designed simply to carry out complex financial transactions, often as part of money-laundering schemes - doing business via Latvia banks is in sharp decline, Latvia's financial regulator said June 5.
The Association of Latvian Commercial Banks’ (ALCB) on June 1 published its Lending Index, which recorded "rapid growth of lending in the private sector over the last three years."
Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FKTK) has still not decided whether or not to accept a self-liquidation plan proposed by ABLV bank three months ago, reported LTV June 1st.
Citadele Group on May 31 announced its results for the first three months of 2018, revealing a net profit increase of 3% to EUR 9.4 million, of which Citadele Bank made EUR 6.6 million.
A report by the Reuters news agency May 29 said Latvia's banking sector was used as part of a Russia-backed effort to topple the government in NATO member state Montenegro.
Marshall Billingslea, the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing at the United States Department of Treasury, was recently in Rīga and is clearly keeping a keen eye on developments in the Latvian banking sector following the collapse of ABLV bank and subsequent efforts to clean up the sector and shed the country's image as a global money-laundering hub.