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Independent audits under way in nearly all Latvian banks operating in non-resident segment

BC, Riga, 07.04.2016.Print version
An independent audit organized by the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FCMC) is already under way in nearly all Latvian banks operating in the non-resident segment, FCMC spokeswoman Elina Avotina told LETA.

Talks are still ongoing with the remaining banks that have yet to be audited.

The auditors are expected to provide their findings in a few months' time. The FCMC will then monitor the banks' work on dealing with the flaws discovered by the auditors, the FCMC spokeswoman said.

As reported, three U.S. companies have been hired to audit 13 Latvian banks providing services to non-resident clients.

The U.S. audit firms chosen for the job are Navigant Consulting Inc, Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss and Exiger LLC.

The audits in the Latvian banks working in the non-resident segment and using U.S. dollars will be carried out by U.S. firms in accordance with U.S. standards. After that, the Financial and Capital Market Commission will work out rules regulating the prevention of money laundering.

The audits will look into the banks' policies, decision-making processes, as well as particular clients' data, or "everything concerning the system of money laundering prevention", the regulator's head Peters Putnins explained, noting that the audits will be more extensive and comprehensive than the inspections conducted so far by the Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission.

"This is a voluntary audit. It is a result of cooperation between the commission and the banks," Putnins said, indicating, however, that the three U.S. companies have been chosen by the Latvian regulator.

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