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INFOGRAPHICS: Transformation of Latvian banking sector Q3 2018

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After revising the previous approach to the banking business the Latvian banking sector (in particular the banks operating in the foreign customer segment) have undergone a self-cleaning process by giving up a high risk customer segment.  In less than a year the share of foreign deposits has been reduced almost by half, in September 2018 – 20.5% (in 2017 – 39.7%). Gradual stabilization has been now noted in the segment.


Assessing the turnover of foreign customer assets in the period of changes this is evidenced that not only the volume of risky deposits has decreased significantly, but also the level of foreign customer payments, in particular in the US dollars. The payments shrank substantially already in 2016 with enforcing the AML/CTF risk mitigating measures. Whereas, comparing the third quarter of this year and the respective period of  2015, payments in the US dollars in Latvian banks have declined more than 10 times, thus the euro has strengthened its dominance as a payment currency in the Latvian financial sector. 


The above developments have not had an adverse impact on the Latvia's domestic deposits that have been continuously growing over the past years. Therefore with applying the new risk reduction approach the Latvian banking sector has more actively focused on attracting the EU and EEA customers. At present domestic (80%) and the EU Member States (10%) deposits are prevailing in Latvia, totaling already 90% of banking deposits in Latvia.