Banks, Financial Services, Latvia, Legislation, USA

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 20.07.2019, 16:53

US Department of Treasury official Billingslea to visit Riga this week

BC, Riga, 13.05.2019.Print version
Marshall Billingslea, the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the US Department of the Treasury is due to arrive in Riga this weelk, reported LETA/BNS.

Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) is scheduled to meet with Billingslea on Thursday, May 16. The meeting will be followed by a press briefing.


Billingslea last visited Riga in June 2018 to meet with Latvian officials. After her meeting with the US official, then Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens/Farmers) said at that time that Billingslea paid an unannounced visit to learn about progress on ABLV Bank’s liquidation and fixing the Latvian financial sector.


In June 2018, representatives of the US Embassy in Riga told LETA that in Billingslea’s opinion, Latvia should speed up its judicial and political reforms to strengthen its financial sector. Latvia needs a strong and well supervised financial sector for positive long-term growth, the embassy’s representatives quoted Billingslea as saying.


Finance Minister Janis Reirs, who met with Billingslea in April 2019, was reassured of the US Treasury’s positive assessment of Latvia’s progress in fixing its financial sector.


Reirs briefed the US official on the financial sector’s supervision reform, or the so-called “overhaul”, carried out by the Latvian government. According to the ministry’s representatives, Billingslea appreciated the progress made by the Latvian government is the short period of time and plans for the Latvian financial sector’s further improvement.


Reirs informed the US official that the Latvian government continues work on sorting out the financial sector’s issues to boost its ability to prevent money-laundering and terrorist financing, as well as to achieve full compliance with international AML/CFT standards.


“The aim of the reform implemented by the government is to strengthen the financial regulator and its ability to combat financial crime, as well as coordination with partners for attaining an effective result. The common goal of Latvia’s financial institutions is to create and guarantee a stable and secure financial sector and to make Latvia’s ani-money laundering system one of the most effective in Europe,” the Latvian finance minister said during the meeting with Billingslea.


Reirs also voiced the resolve of the Latvian government and financial sector to carry out the reforms necessary to comply with the recommendations provided by the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, ensuring the Latvian financial sector’s stability and a result promoting Latvia’s overall economic growth.

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