Banks, Financial Services, Latvia, USA

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 19.06.2019, 22:49

US backs overhaul of Latvian financial sector announced by PM Karins - US Treasury official

BC, Riga, 17.05.2019.Print version
The United States supports the reforms in the Latvian financial system announced by Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins’ (New Unity) government, Marshall Billingslea, the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the US Department of the Treasury, told the press after a meeting with the Latvian prime minister, informed LETA/BNS.

Karins told journalists following the meeting with Billinslea that he briefed the US partners on the Latvian government’s plan to reform the financial sector to ensure its stability and sustainability.

The prime minister said his conversation with Billingslea dealt with Latvia’s progress on the announced “complete overhaul”. “I assured him that everything is being done to not only fix the financial sector but also make it one of the strongest in Europe,” Karins said.


Billingslea described the information provided by Karins about Latvia’s efforts to reform the financial sector as a positive signal, adding that the US is prepared to help Latvia carry out the reforms.


The US Treasury official refrained from more detailed comments on Latvia’s reform progress, but said that the US has trust in the Karins-led government. It is essential to work together on financial crimes, but its financial system is Latvia’s own responsibility, Billingslea said, noting that work on the reforms should be stepped up.


Asked to comment on some entrepreneurs’ concerns that the implementation of recommendations provided by the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval) might hamper Latvia’s economic growth, Karins said his task is to reform the financial system as a whole, thinking first of all about the interests of the whole society and not a particular business.


“If it fails to do the minimum and implement the Moneyval recommendations, Latvia can end up on the grey or even the black list, which for Latvia would mean recession. And I am not going to let that to happen. We will do everything to comply with the recommendations and fix the financial sector. I cannot comment on someone’s dislike of the reforms, but it is necessary to think about the interests of the whole society and not one particular enterprise,” Karins said. 


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.






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