Latvia fines Baltic International Bank for anti-money laundering checks

RIGA, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Latvia’s financial authority said on Friday it had fined Baltic International Bank 1.56 million euros ($1.72 million) for lax money laundering controls .

The Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FCMC) said in a statement that a review of the country’s eighth largest bank showed that it lacked an adequate control system for the prevention of money laundering. money and the financing of terrorism.

The bank, which mainly served non-resident clients but now says it is turning to investment banking in the Baltics, will most likely appeal the decision, its chief executive Viktors Bolbats told Reuters.

“Baltic International Bank considers the administrative fine imposed by FCMC to be disproportionate,” a spokeswoman said.

It is the latest in a series of fines imposed on Latvian banks by the FCMC as Latvia attempts to clean up its financial sector after several scandals, including the closure of ABLV last year after authorities Americans accused her of money laundering.

Next year, Latvia will be under review by Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

Meanwhile, Central Bank of Latvia Governor Ilmars Rimsevics is charged with bribery in the first bribery trial of a European Central Bank governor.

Rimsevics denied any wrongdoing. ($1 = 0.9073 euros) (Reporting by Gederts Gelzis, writing by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Alexander Smith)

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