RIGA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Commercial banks in Latvia should stop just looking for clients' dirty money and concentrate more on the financial sector's growth, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said on public television Wednesday.
In the process of the Latvian financial sector's overhaul, which was carried out after Latvia received international criticism for not clamping down on money laundering effectively enough, many bankers have taken an increasingly cautious approach to their potential clients.
Karins noted that instead of managing their risks, banks tend to avoid them.
"An agreement is needed with the banking supervisor and banks, so that the banks start managing their risks," the prime minister said, explaining that the goal is to ensure that banks are not afraid to get involved with new clients.
Karins also believed that anyone should be able to open a bank account in Latvia.
The prime minister said that he has already urged banks and their supervisory authority, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), to move towards risk management and stop treating everyone as dishonest, because this just isn't the case."
Banks' cautiousness is one of the reasons preventing investment in Latvia, the premier said, admitting that there have been cases where excessively close scrutiny has deterred foreign investors from starting business in Latvia. Enditem