Latvian authorities have handed a €1m fine to Rigensis Bank for violating an array of financial crime laws, the latest direct action taken by the country as it seeks to implement a suite of legislative reforms.

The Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) announced on Monday it was issuing a penalty to the Riga-based institution after uncovering numerous failings in its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing controls.

Among the many shortcomings were a failure to carry out satisfactory customer due diligence, allowing funds of unidentified origin to remain in customer accounts, and allowing “complex, unusually large inter-related transactions with no apparent economic or visible lawful purpose” to go unchallenged.

“The risk appetite of Latvian banks has decreased significantly over recent years, and there have been a lot of changes related to the outflow of deposits belonging to non-resident clients,” said Edvīns Draba, a senior associate at Sorainen. “Therefore there have been quite profound changes in recent years, and the portfolio of risky clients in Latvian banks has reduced significantly.”

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