International high-level conference of financial experts to be held in Riga

  • 2023-04-04

Finance Latvia Association will organize an international high-level conference of financial experts, From grey to green: Latvia’s success story, on April 27, at the Latvian National Library in Riga. The conference will gather the brightest opinion leaders and professionals of the financial industry to share opinions, experience, the best practices and innovations in relation to implementation of sanctions, and their role in reaching sustainable (ESG) goals in order to strengthen the progress of international society towards sustainable development, ensuring security and the rule of law.

“The past years have been full of challenges for the financial and banking sector like any other sector of the national economy. The geopolitical turbulences and Russia’s war in Ukraine have raised a number of significant questions – verification of companies and individuals listed for sanctions, provision of financial services to residents from Ukraine, etc. At the same time, there is still necessity to strictly supervise origin of resources attracted by clients and used in transactions and to introduce sustainable governance principles. In order to learn the best practices of other countries, discuss current issues and draw a road map for the future, we will gather local and international experts in Riga,” said Sanita Bajare, the board chairwoman of Finance Latvia Association.

More than 20 international experts from different fields of the financial sector will participate in the conference. Among them there will be economic crimes prevention specialist with experience in supervision, intelligence, strategy, analysts and crypto-risks, Howard Rawstron; journalist and author of Butler to the World and Moneyland, Oliver Bullough; member of the European Court of Auditors, Dean of Chamber IV, Mihails Kozlovs, and many other professionals from the Baltic states and other countries.

Latvia’s story has a special place in the contents of the conference, demonstrating Latvia’s significant achievements in preventing money laundering. As reported, in July 2018, the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval) approved assessment report on effectiveness of Latvia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing system. Based on the experts’ conclusions, Latvia received recommendations aimed at prevention of the detected deficiencies, and evaluation in relation to implementation of 40 recommendations presented by the work group of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Reacting to risks pointed out at the report, the Latvian government approved an action plan for implementation of Moneyval recommendations, and in 2020 Latvia managed to prevent being included in the so-called FATF “grey list” or the number of countries with significant deficiencies in preventing money laundering and terrorism financing. In line with FATF conclusions, since 2018, Latvia has developed a strong and resilience system for preventing financial crimes.

“The Latvian government, the organizations supervising and controlling the financial market and financial institutions have made a hug job to ensure that Latvia has a secure environment for financial transactions and investments. If many years ago financial specialists and foreign investors considered Latvia as some sort of Wild West, where the power rules instead of the laws, then the situation has changed significantly over the past five years. Latvia’s achievements in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing sector are being mentioned as the good example in the world, and we definitely have to tell this story ourselves,” said Sanita Bajare, the board chairwoman of Finance Latvia Association.

The conference programme and registration: