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«Tough decision» – ABLV Bank shareholders decide to liquidate the bank

Ernests Bernis/ablv.lv.
To ensure protection of clients’ and creditors’ interests and considering the decision made by the European Central Bank on commencement of the liquidation process, ABLV Bank shareholders made the decision to liquidate the bank.

ABLV Bank believes this decision will help ensure protection of assets to pay all of its clients, as detailed in the bank’s announcement.

«Considering the previous insolvency and liquidation processes in Latvia, we believe it is the right decision. The bank’s financial state is excellent. This is why we have to take care of our clients and protect their rights,» said ABLV Bank chairman Ernests Bernis.

«This decision is very tough and also the most appropriate in this situation,» said Bernis.

Finance and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) representative Ieva Upleja said the commission has yet to receive any official information about the decision made by ABLV Bank shareholders. Because of that, the commission is unable to confirm information about the liquidation process.

As it is known, European Central Bank made the decision to commence the liquidation process, which is to be realized in accordance with Latvia’s laws.

Following ECB’s instructions, FCMC applied payment restrictions on ABLV Bank on 19 February. Because ECB gave no instructions to lift restrictions, FCMC decided on the night to 24 February that unavailability of deposits took place in ABLV Bank.

ABLV Bank admits the decision made by FCMC means liquidation process will soon commence. ABLV Bank links the commission’s decision with political reasons.

Problems for ABLV Bank started when Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of US Department of Treasury announced in the middle of February that it plans to establish sanctions against ABLV Bank for money laundering activities that had assisted with North Korea’s nuclear arms programme, as well as illegal activities in Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine.

The report published by FinCEN details that until 2017 the management of ABLV Bank had been using bribery to influence officials in Latvia in an attempt to avoid legal action and threats to its high-risk operations.

On Friday, 23 February, ABLV Bank’s account in the Bank of Latvia had EUR 693,988,000, which is 78.4% more than last year, according to information published by the bank. On 23 February, ABLV Bank’s investments in securities were around EUR 939,104,000, which is 47.5% less than the year before. Unfinished transactions using securities formed EUR 409,082,000.

At the same time, published financial results show that ABLV Bank’s asset value was EUR 3.311 billion on 23 February, which is 10.2% less than last year.

Asset-wise ABLV Bank was the third largest bank in Latvia in September 2017.


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