13 Mar 2019
The European Central Bank will take over the supervision of Latvia’s PNB Banka, a small lender that has accused the country’s central bank governor and financial regulator of running a racket after being itself fined over money laundering.
The decision followed a request by the Latvian financial watchdog, which said it was hoping this would help “avoid any misunderstanding and possible reproaches” after PNB’s allegations.
It came just two weeks after the country’s central bank chief, Ilmars Rimsevics, was reinstated to his post by the European Union’s top court after being suspended over separate bribery allegations.
The ECB supervises the euro zone’s 117 largest banks but it can choose to oversee a smaller firm when necessary to ensure consistent application of high supervisory standards.
– By Francesco Canepa and Gederts Gelzis, Reuters, 11 March 2019.
Link to Reuters
STORY UPDATE: In a statement on PNB’s website, Oliver Bramwell, PNB Banka Chairman of the Board, said: ‘The decision taken is based on a legal dispute between AS “PNB Banka”, the State of Latvia and its regulatory apparatus, and not on supervisory issues. We very much hope that the transition to the ECB under direct supervision will result in the application of the highest supervisory standards and fair treatment of PNB Banka.’ – KYC360
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