Meridian Trade Bank has been fined by Latvia’s banking watchdog Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) for violating money laundering regulations.

In a statement, the bank announced that it has been fined €456,000 for the shortcoming identified by FCMC during inspections.

It further added that both the entities have entered into an agreement that requires Meridian Trade Bank to improve its internal control system for risk management of money laundering and terrorist financing by next year.

Meridian also agreed to conduct an independent assessment to ensure that it complies with all the necessary regulatory requirements.

The bank claimed that it has already invested more than €1.5m to upgrade its AML/CTF internal control system in 2016 and 2017, with plans to make additional €1m this year.

In February, US alleged Latvian financial entity ABLV bank of money laundering leading to its closure.

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Following this incident, Latvia strengthened vigilance efforts over the banks engaged in serving non-residents.

To date, around nine Latvian non-resident banks have been fined for breaching money laundering regulations, reported Reuters.

Meridian Trade Bank started restructuring its activities in the last year to focus on domestic customers.

It was stated to have significant presence among Latvian and Lithuanian customer base.