The Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has verified information on the exchange of alleged payment messages by Latvian banks in the SWIFT organization's service network and has not obtained any information about the inclusion of Latvia in the list of high-risk countries.
It has already been said that SWIFT, the international network for the exchange of banking information, offering a settlement between banks from different countries, has recognized Latvia as a high-risk country. On Tuesday, November 27, members of the Saeima Budget Commission were informed by the Minister of Finance Dana Reizniece-Ozola (ZZS).
The Commercial Bank of Latvia on 28 November, FCMC, has confirmed that all processes are in the usual order. SWIFT's regional office informed the Latvian authorities that this organization has no information about SWIFT decisions concerning the establishment of lists of high-risk countries.
"It is important to understand this before it is announced as SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), an organization that provides banks with the exchange of their communication networks, which takes place within seconds – the SWIFT system delivers payment messages to the beneficiary bank SWIFT immediately SWIFT has never carried out AML checks or bank screening instead of banking and does not make any payments SWIFT offers banks the possibility to exchange orders in a secure and standardized way for various types of financial transactions, including interbank and bank customer payments The institutions responsible for monitoring our sector today have confirmed that the exchange of this information in the domestic and international environment takes place smoothly and in the usual manner, "explains FCC instigator Peters Putnins.
After examining the information, the FCMC and other responsible institutions have no confirmation that there would be a decision, a message or the list in which SWIFT would have assessed the Latvian state as a high-risk area. As an organization SWIFT does not create a list of banks or countries according to certain criteria and does not stop payment reports, explains the FCMC.
As indicated in SWIFT information: SWIFT is a neutral organization that provides a messaging service and is not involved in a financial transaction control or monitoring system. As a global provider of services, SWIFT does not take decisions on imposing restrictions or imposing sanctions, such audit issues are the responsibility of the recipient countries and their co-legislators.
"I appeal to anyone who wants to publish information that could damage the international reputation of our country, or, in particular, a sensitive sector such as the financial area and its stable and unhindered operation, to check every post before it expands. The unexplained facts create a false impression about our country, the Latvian banking sector and the work already done to strengthen the international reputation of the Latvian financial sector and to transform the banking business approach, "notes Putnins.
The FCMC indicates that the transmission of payment messages is one of the phases of the interbank settlement. The exchange of messages between banks within the SWIFT network takes place within seconds, SWIFT does not keep any payment reports under control. Payments on payment orders sent via the SWIFT network shall be made using payment systems (for example the Eurosystem payment system TARGET2 from the Eurosystem) or via accounts opened between banks (correspondence accounts). As a provider of network services for financial transactions, SWIFT does not perform the potential for legalization of the proceeds of crime, including customer due diligence (CDD) on payment orders sent via the SWIFT network. Regardless of whether banks choose to use their own solutions, SWIFT services or other technical solutions developed by IT companies, the management of the risks of money laundering and the financing of terrorism is the responsibility of the sender and recipient of payment orders.
The support services offered by SWIFT include a number of additional services, which, like the solutions developed by other organizations and their own banks, enable banks to optimize their activities, including through the implementation of regular risk management of money laundering and terrorist financing. Corresponding banks that receive SWIFT payment messages themselves can carry out extensive inspections. SWIFT offers additional tools for an additional fee that can help its customers (banks) control AML (identify suspicious transactions and notify the user of this tool.) But it is a different type of software and is not an integral part of the SWIFT telecommunications network.