Latvian government to Oligarchs: Please bank in our country!

Since the early 1990’s, Latvia has been the offshore banking center for Russian, Ukrainian, and other CIS oligarchs.  In the beginning, oligarchs such as Grigory Loutchansky, Viktor Chernomyrdin, Yulia Tymoshenko, and Pavlo Lazarenko were making use of Latvian banks.

Now in 2012, the offshore business has increased, to the detriment of the Latvian, Russian, and Ukrainian people.  The offshore banks of Latvia are endorsed and/or funded by the following organizations:  Moodys Ratings, Fitch Ratings, S&P Ratings, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the European Union, the IMF, the EBRD, and the World Bank.

Latvian banks are permitted to branch freely throughout the European Union with no oversight from local regulators.

Here is a list of Latvian banks in June 2012 with notes on associated oligarchs:

(1) ABLV Bank – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.  When the European Union bailed out Parex Bank, many deposit accounts moved here.
(2) Baltikums Bank – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.
(3) Baltic International Bank – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.  Linked to oligarchs Valery Belokon, Boris Berezovsky, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Alexander Lukashenko.
(4) GE Money Bank – In process of being sold to Otkritie Financial Corporation of Russia.
(5) DNB Bank – Latvian retail bank.
(6) Swedbank – Latvian retail bank.
(7) Latvijas Biznesa Banka – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.  Owned by Bank of Moscow, linked to Yuri Luzhkov.
(8) Norvik Bank – Former Lateko Bank.  Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.
(9) Latvijas Hipoteku un Zemes Banka – Government bank linked to Latvian oligarch Andris Skele.
(10) Expobank – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.  Formerly named LTB Bank and formerly owned by MDM Bank.  Linked to Oleg Deripaska
(11) SEB Bank – Latvian retail bank.
(12) SMP Bank – Formerly Multibanka.  Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.  Blacklisted by United States Treasury in 2005.  Linked to Arkady Rotenberg, Vladimir Putin’s judo partner.  
(13) PrivatBank – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.
(14) Regionala Investiciju Banka – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.
(15) Rietumu Bank – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.  Linked to Suleiman Kerimov.
(16) Trasta Komercbanka – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.  Was involved in the Sergey Magnitsky money laundering case.
(17) UniCredit Bank – Latvian retail bank.
(18) Latvijas Pasta Banka – Spun off from Latvian Post Office and privatized to former owner of Lateko Bank.
(19) Citadele Bank – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians. Spun off from Parex Bank.  Funded by EU, IMF, World Bank, EBRD.  Linked to Oleg Boiko, Yuri Shefler.
(20) Rigensis Bank – Offshore bank serving Russians and Ukrainians.
(21) (not licensed anymore, but nobody being prosecuted)  Latvijas Krajbanka – Linked to Snoras Bank of Lithuania, Alexander Antonov, Vladimir Antonov, Oleg Deripaska.
(22) (not licensed anymore, but nobody being prosecuted) VEF Bank – Was blacklisted by the United States Treasury.  Linked to Leonid Reiman, Alisher Usmanov.

Here is the list from the Latvian regulator:

http://www.fktk.lv/en/market/credit_institutions/banks1/