Compliance

Latvian banking sector started a significant and comprehensive improvement process in 2016 to ensure highest standards in countering money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT) as well as sustainable development of the banking sector. The improvement of the compliance process is carried out both by the Association of Commercial Banks (ALCB) and by each bank individually.

Commitment of ALCB is to achieve the highest AML/CFT compliance standards among member banks within the next 2 to 3 years.

Improvements fall into five main compliance categories:

  • Corporate governance
  • Internal controls
  • Training of banking staff
  • Independent testing
  • Automated banking system enhancement, with a special focus towards internal controls.

Major step in AML/CFT: higher standards through industry self-regulation  

In October 2017, the Council of ALCB has approved Policy Guidance and Guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering, Countering Terrorism Financing and Enforcement of Sanctions. This marks a new direction of activities of the ALCB and confirms high professional maturity of the banking industry.

The ALCB will follow the implementation of guidelines by the members of the ALCB and, based on risk assessment and the development of generally accepted standards, will develop the existing guidelines or, if necessary, issue new guidelines.

Compliance Status Review on progress and planned actions

Latvia Banking Compliance Status Review provides an industry level overview of the accomplishments in the field of compliance since 2016, as well as future plans of the Association and the industry in general.

During 2016, 11 member banks of the Association undertook independent AML/CFT compliance reviews conducted by the US based compliance firms (Navigant, Exiger and Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss). Following the reviews, the banks adopted remediation plans to implement the improvements needed to reach full compliance with US standards on top of the EU applicable standards.

The aim of the review was to ensure that the highest industry standards were met, highlighting the areas for improvement. Good results are seen due to applying increased AML/CFT standards:

  • Banks have implemented 90% of the remediation plans by the September of 2017. It is planned that by the end of 2017 - by the beginning of 2018, all of the points included in the plans will be implemented.
  • Latvian banks significantly reduce risk exposure. The number of clients de-risked in 2016 increased by 39% in comparison to 2015.
  • There is a special focus to further automation. Investments in IT systems provide significant automation of client and their transaction monitoring. They are effective tools to detect and prevent potential illicit activity at early stages.

Major Enhancements in AML/CFT Compliance and Other Relevant Developments individually by banks 

Individual factsheets by member bank are providing detailed information on major enhancements in AML/CFT compliance and other key developments.

ABLV Bank

Baltic International Bank

BlueOrange

Citadele banka

Danske Bank A/S Latvia branch

DNB banka AS

Expobank

Latvijas pasta banka JSC

Meridian Trade Bank

Nordea Bank AB Latvia

Norvik Banka

OP Corporate Bank plc Latvia branch

PrivatBank

Regionala investiciju banka

Rigensis Bank

SEB bank

Signet Bank (previous name - Bank M2M Europe) 

Swedbank AS

AML/CFT Workshop

ALCB organize the AML/CFT Workshop on November 28, 2017. The discussion will address AML/CFT compliance topics to encourage the debate devoted to AML/CFT excellence and best practices exchanging views about latest US and UK initiatives to combat financial crime. The Agenda on AML/CFT Workshop please find here.

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