The U.S. is seeking to impose sanctions on ABLV Bank, the third largest financial institution in Latvia by assets, by prohibiting the bank from opening or maintaining a correspondent account in the United States due to money laundering concerns, Reuters reports citing the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Latvia’s Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens, speaking on LNT, said that US experts are planning to visit Latvia in the next two weeks to explain the situation.
ABLV Bank has an office in Baku, located in a business centre in Icheri Sheher. Sources in the banking sector note that ABLV Bank organised transfers of money from the former Minister of National Security Eldar Mahmudov and his brother-in-law Jahangir Hajiyev to offshore.
Arvils Aseradens called the situation in the financial sector of Latvia bad.
‘The first problem is that American colleagues will arrive within the next two weeks and will clearly explain what these violations are, and what should be done next. The second is that ABLV Bank is under the supervision of the European Central Bank (ECB), and currently it is not quite clear how to manage this crisis, as the president of the Bank of Latvia, Ilmars Rimsevics has not returned to his workplace.We must decide who will work with the ECB, and how we will act,’ he said.
The government does not intend to invest public funds in ABLV Bank, the minister assured.
‘Nevertheless, it is a system bank, and it is unlikely that all this will remain without consequences… I would urge now not to exaggerate the situation and look for possible solutions to stabilise the bank’s activities,’ he said.