Anti-Money Laundering Rules in the Baltics

To enforce the anti-money laundering rules in Latvia, the Financial Regulator (FKTK) has placed fines on the largest banks of Latvia. The violations of anti-money laundering rules are determined subject to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism and Proliferation Financing, and depend on the severity of the violation as well as on the circumstances involving the violation of anti-money laundering rules.

The most recent fines have been against Swedbank (EUR 1.4mil in 2016), Citadele Bank (EUR 650’000 in 2020) and Danske Bank which all had deficiencies and deviated from the relevant anti-money laundering rules in Latvia. The Financial Regulator in Latvia strictly observes and in case of necessity enforces the violations of anti-money laundering rules by placing severe fines on the banks.

Recently, Swedbank in Sweden experienced a record fine of over EUR 360mil for various violations of anti-money laundering rules including the high profile money laundering scandal including EUR 200bn dirty money case with Danske Bank. There have also been reports that Swedbank has specifically targeted high risk persons, and there been transactions which may have violated the U.S. sanctions by making transactions of almost EUR 5mil. Between the period of 2014 and 2019 Swedbank has carried out high risk transactions in the amount of EUR 37bn. 

Overall, the enforcement of anti-money laundering rules in the past years has drastically increased, and the amount of fines are getting higher each year.  It is notable that the deficiencies found in the anti-money laundering rules in Latvia for the past years have specifically affected the largest and most significant banks. Anti-money laundering rules in Baltics are generally unified within all three Baltic States, furthermore, all three countries are in a close cooperation in order to enforce the violations of anti-money laundering rules and to prevent the spread of money laundering in the Baltics.

 

To find out more detailed information or should you need to receive specific information regarding the money laundering rules in Latvia or Baltics, do not hesitate to contact our anti-money laundering legal experts at valters.gencs@gencs.eu, info@gencs.eu, +371 67240090.



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