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Latvian regulator clears ABLV Bank's voluntary liquidation

Latvia's Financial and Capital Market Commission cleared the voluntary liquidation of troubled lender ABLV Bank AS, which has been at the center of a crisis involving money laundering and terrorist financing.

The regulator said June 12 that the bank has a "sufficient amount of assets to meet the interests of all creditors," and that it will continue to monitor the liquidation process and to ensure that control mechanisms are in place to prevent money laundering.

In late February, shareholders of ABLV decided on the voluntary liquidation to safeguard its assets for settlement with all clients, with Chairman Ernests Bernis saying then that the move "is the best option we could have made after the statement of the European Central Bank regarding commencement of winding up procedures."

The FCMC appointed Arvids Kostomarovs, Andris Kovalcuks, Elvijs Vebers and Eva Berlaus liquidators of the bank.

The U.S. sanctioned ABLV in February amid allegations of money laundering, which led to the ECB declaring it "failing or likely to fail." The matter also shed light on issues of financial crime control and corruption in the country, attracting the attention of EU officials.

The FCMC said the ECB has been informed of the decision and that it will prepare a draft decision on the withdrawal of ABLV's authorization. Creditor claims can be submitted for three months after the notice of the move is published in the government gazette.