Latvia fines Rigensis Bank for lax anti-money laundering controls

Latvia’s financial watchdog, the Financial and Capital Market Commission, has fined Rigensis Bank for lax anti-money laundering controls. The Baltic country’s 11th biggest bank by assets was fined EUR 1 million.

According to the statement made by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), the fine was “for infringements of regulatory requirements regarding the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing”. The violations included the bank’s failures to verify beneficial owners and establish true origins of deposits. Rigensis Bank mainly serves non-resident clients from countries such as Russia and Belarus. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The FCMC said it had required from Rigensis Bank a plan for addressing the shortcomings, and that it had ordered it to have an independent auditor assess its revised control system.

Latvia has been hard-hit by financial sector scandals, such as voluntary liquidation of bank ABLV last year after the accusations of institutionalized money laundering made by U.S. authorities.

In 2020, Latvia will next year undergo a review by Moneyval, the money laundering and terrorism financing monitoring body of the Council of Europe.

Meanwhile, Latvia’s central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics, has been accused of accepting a bribe. He denies any wrongdoing.

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