Latvian central bank chief is released on bail


Despite the fact that ABLV is the largest non-resident banking institution in Latvia, it allegedly failed to implement adequate AML controls commensurate with the high risk of providing banking services to shell companies and illicit actors using such means to hide organized crime, corruption, and evade sanctions.

Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said earlier on Tuesday that the complaint against Rimsevics was made by small Latvian lender Norvik Bank.

In a bid to increase it's global rating, Norvik last month hired former North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as deputy head of the bank's council.

Rimsevics, who has been a member of the European Central Bank's policymaking council since Latvia joined the eurozone in 2014, denies any wrongdoing. Then why would commercial banks try to attack him?

ABLV sought emergency funding from the Latvian central bank, which bought 13 million euros in bonds and has agreed to provide 97.5 million euros in loans.

The central banker also said he received a text message at the end of last month threatening that he would be shot, and informed law enforcement officials.

In the last four days the bank managed to sell securities worth around Euro 200 million. "I have no doubt that these banks are coordinating among themselves against me and the state of Latvia", he said.

"Now the regulator is trying to pretend there was no corruption". "For 25 years Rimsevics has been directing things". It's investigating "an alleged solicitation and acceptance of a bribe" of at least 100,000 euros, it said in a statement.

Ilmars Rimševics was released on bail on Sunday.

Worldwide attention is again on Latvia's banking sector.

As governor, Rimsevics enjoys robust independence.

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola called for Rimsevics to step down during the investigation to avoid damage to Latvia's credit position.

While the lender denied the USA charges, the European Central Bank slapped a payment moratorium on the lender on Monday.

Representatives of ABLV Bank, the third largest commercial bank in Latvia, will go to Frankfurt on Monday evening to pitch a stabilization plan on Tuesday, 20 February, to the ECB Ernests Bernis, Chairman of the Board of ABLV Bank, stated at a press conference on Monday. "Most" of information in the Treasury report was known to the regulator, he said.

Two other Latvian banks were fined previous year for allowing clients to violate European Union and United Nations sanctions on North Korea. It noted that while no other nation has prohibited correspondent banking relationships with ABLV, Latvia's Financial Capital and Market Commission had conducted an examination and issued a fine.