On 23 February 2018, the European Central Bank (ECB) determined that ABLV Bank, then the third largest bank in Latvia, was failing or likely to fail in accordance with the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation. The ECB also determined that ABLV Bank Luxembourg, a subsidiary of the Latvian bank, was failing or likely to fail. The decision by ECB followed a previous announcement on 13 February 2018 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of a draft measure to name ABLV Bank an institution of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act.
Following these events the shareholders’ meeting of ABLV Bank decided to start voluntary liquidation of the bank. On 12 June 2018 the voluntary liquidation process was approved by the Latvian regulator, the Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FCMC). The FCMC approved their consent with the election of Eva Berlaus, a partner with Sorainen, as one of four liquidators of ABLV.
The liquidation of ABLV is the largest liquidation in Latvia to date and the first voluntary liquidation of a bank in Latvia. The assets under liquidation comprise approximately EUR 2.4 billion. It is expected that the liquidation will last for approximately five years.