AML Risk Management & Compliance
FIU Latvia freezes EUR 83.2 million assets in first four months of 2019
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) continues to improve its results - during the first 4 months of 2019 it has frozen EUR 83.2 million, compared to EUR 16.7 million in the same period in 2018 and EUR 101.5 million in all of 2018. The Head of FIU Ilze Znotiņa attributed the rise to improved training for FIU employees and investments in the latest technologies for information analysis and processing: “The FIU is committed to supporting Latvia’s ongoing reform process by deploying our people and our technology to ensure the highest standards of compliance in the financial sector.”
Nordic and Baltic financial supervisors enhance cooperation to fight money laundering
On 8 May, the heads of the Nordic and Baltic financial supervisors met in Stockholm. They agreed on measures to enhance the cooperation between the authorities with the aim of fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.
As the first step in this process, the existing model for cross-border cooperation on anti-money laundering supervision will be strengthened.
The authorities agreed on the following actions:
- A permanent working group will be established with representatives from each country’s financial supervisory authority (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania Norway and Sweden) to maintain regular contact and exchange information and best practice in money laundering prevention.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be jointly drafted to formalise the continued, long-term cooperation.
FIU publishes Annual Report for 2018
On April, the Latvian FIU published its Annual Report for 2018.
The FIU received 6,617 reports of suspicious transactions in total. Of these, the FIU conducted a financial intelligence analysis on 3, 203 cases. For 470 cases, the FIU forwarded information to Latvian law enforcement agencies or to foreign FIUs. The FIU also froze a record amount of financial assets in 2018 – EUR 101.5 million – as part of the organisation’s commitment to supporting the overhaul of the financial sector.
FCMC fines banks for missing reporting deadlines
On 30 April, the FCMC board fined a number of banks for non-submission and non-disclosure of audited annual reports within the statutory period. The Credit Institutions Law requires that a credit institution prepares public statements within a specified period in order to inform the public about its activities and financial indicators.
Latvian State Security Service publishes its 2018 Annual Report
On April Latvian State Security Service (VVD) published its Annual Report on activities in 2018.
In 2018, VDD conducted a detailed risk assessment and making recommendations for draft regulations to improve sanctions compliance and to prevent terrorist financing, as recommended by the MONEYVAL committee.
The meeting of VDD’s Counterterrorism Centre expert advisory council
On 3 May, the expert advisory council of Latvian State Security Service’s (VDD) Counterterrorism Centre met to review progress in preventing terrorist financing and radicalization.
Advisory council participants were briefed about the results in the field of terrorist financing prevention, while also discussing the required future measures.
The VDD has developed guidelines for the prevention of terrorist financing and proliferation for people who are subject to AML/CTF rules for the supervisory institutions. The VDD has also expanded training for personnel from the monitoring and control institutions and is developing a prevention of terrorist financing strategy.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs seminar on sanctions application and compliance
On 30 April and 7 May, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held seminars on sanction-related topics titled “Sanctions in Latvia: Application and Compliance” to explain the purpose and nature of sanctions, and the duty of any natural person and legal entity to comply with them.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also noted that on 1 May amendments to the Law On International Sanctions and National Sanctions came into force that require subjects of the Financial and Capital Market Commission, the State Revenues Service, and the Consumer Rights Protection Centre to perform sanctions risk assessments and establish internal control systems to ensure compliance with sanctions.