Latvian financial regulator FCMC orders ABLV Bank to stop all payments

The Finance and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has ordered ABLV Bank to stop all payments after an extraordinary meeting held on Sunday, LETA reported. Following instructions from the ECB, the regulator decided to introduce temporary restrictions on payments and ordered the bank to stop the execution of payment orders and debit transactions in all currencies as of today, February 19. Payments have been stopped since midnight until further notice.

As previously reported, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of Treasury (FinCEN) proposed last week sanctions against ABLV on grounds that it has been involved in money laundering schemes that have been aiding North Korea’s nuclear program and illegal activities in Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine. The Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) launched an investigation of the bank on Friday, which should be completed in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the bank suspended membership in the association of commercial banks while dealing with the allegations. In addition, the board of Nasdaq Riga stock exchange decided to put ABLV under observation, arguing there are new circumstances regarding the issuer which may threaten the interests of investors.

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