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Shareholders approve voluntary liquidation of Latvia's ABLV Bank

The shareholders of Latvia-based ABLV Bank AS decided to launch a voluntary liquidation procedure for the lender to ensure the protection of its assets for settlement with all clients, it said late Feb. 26.

The ECB on Feb. 24 declared ABLV Bank to be "failing or likely to fail" and ordered the lender to be wound up after it was hit by deposit outflows triggered by money laundering accusations put forward by the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which the bank denies. The ECB said at the time that the lender was unlikely to pay its debt given the significant deterioration of its liquidity.

The bank said in a Feb. 27 statement cited by Reuters that it has sufficient assets to cover its liabilities and will be able to settle with all its clients in full. Chairman Ernests Bernis, who is also a 43.5% shareholder in the bank, said in the Feb. 26 statement that the voluntary liquidation "is the best option we could have made after the statement of the European Central Bank regarding commencement of winding up procedures."