12 July 2018 – The European Central Bank (ECB) decided on the 11th of July 2018 to revoke the license of ABLV Bank, following the request by the Latvian Financial Capital Markets Commission (FCMC) to withdraw the banking license. After the US based Financial Crimes Enforcement Network designated the bank as a Primary Institute of Money Laundering Concern in February 2018, the bank shut its doors and entered into voluntary liquidation. The license withdrawal is a logical step in the process to dismantle the bank.
As of today, the bank lacks a license to conduct in any financial transactions. Therefore, the deposit guarantee scheme, that will be activated by 18 September 2018, is the main source to retrieve deposits from the bank with offices in Riga and Luxembourg.
FinCEN accused the bank of orchestrating money laundering schemes, obstruction of regulatory enforcement, and acting on behalf of its clients with sanctioned counter parts in North Korea. Section 311 of the US Patriot Act allows the US Treasury to move from a Notice of Finding to a Final Rule to isolate a financial institution and exclude it from transacting in US Dollar. Contrary to what many believe, a FinCEN 311 Notification is not a sanction but a reference to the conduct of the financial institution and a warning to the market to police the financial system and refrain from doing business with the designated entity.