FCMC suspects someone may want to undermine Latvia’s financial sector
It is not impossible that someone may want to undermine Latvia’s financial sector, said chairman of Latvian Finance and Capital Market Commission Pēters Putniņš in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme on Tuesday, 20 February.
«We cannot exclude this possibility. There are too many coincidences – the country’s political interests and matters associated with the financial system are affected. One of Latvia’s largest bank’s [ABLV Bank] has ended up in a very complicated situation. This is why it is entirely possible that Latvia’s enemies may want to use this situation for their own interests. It is also possible they were the ones who caused this situation in the first place. We have to be carefully. All of Latvia’s institutions have to cooperate,» said Putniņš.
He also mentioned that what Norvik Bank’s largest shareholder Grigorijs Guselnikovs has said in relation to possible dishonest behaviour from FCMC is untrue.
«I do not have any information that proves members of the commission are in any way involved in activities mentioned by Mr. Guselnikov. We have a complicated history when it comes to supervising the aforementioned bank. What this person claims is simply untrue,» said Putniņš. Guselnikovs had previously told AP that the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs had been extorting bribes from his credit institution for years. Supposedly Rimšēvičs had been demanding bribes on a regular basis since 2015, threatening with sanctions against Norvik Bank if they refused to pay.
Allegedly the governor of the Bank of Latvia had told Guselnikovs that he can help the owner of Norvik Bank, because FCMC, which performs supervision over banks, is an institution loyal to him.
Norvik Bank has turned to the International Court of Arbitration against Latvian state, claiming that ‘some high-rank Latvian official’ had attempted to extort bribes and had abused their official power.