Latvian government decides not to position Latvia as regional financial services center

  • 2019-02-12
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA – The Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday decided to cross out the decision on positioning Latvia as the regional financial service center from the Financial Sector Development Plan.

The government on Tuesday heard the Finance Ministry’s report on performance of the Financial Sector Development plan for 2017-2019 and the necessary changes.

The Finance Ministry explained the decision to stop positioning Latvia as the regional financial services center with the changes in the financial sector and the report on Latvia by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval).

“Until the completion of the transformation process and strengthening of Latvia’s international reputation, such a comment promotes further deterioration of Latvia’s international reputation as it might falsely suggest that Latvia is ignoring the risks and is not managing them accordingly,” the ministry said.

The horizontal priority in the Financial Sector Development Plan for 2017-2019 is prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing and well as improving the country’s reputation.

The government also on Tuesday supported the Finance Ministry’s proposal to include Latvian Employers’ Confederation president Vitalijs Gavrilovs in the Financial Sector Development Council.

As reported, Moneyval has placed Latvia in enhanced follow-up procedure because of the number of Low and Moderate ratings awarded for Effectiveness. Two areas were considered to have low levels of effectiveness - relevant beneficial ownership information and preventing proliferation financing.