Acquiring a bank

Acquiring a bank is complicated transaction. It involves all the processes of acquisition including receiving financial regulatory approvals.

    Inhabitants - 2,204,708 (July 2011)

    Language - Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3%.

    Currency - Lats (LVL), fixed to EUR at 0.702

    Religion - Lutheran 19.6%, Orthodox 15.3%, other Christian 1%, other 0.4%, unspecified 63.7%.

    Politics - The politics of Latvia take place under the framework of a parliamentary, representative and democratic republic, wherin the Prime Minister is the head of government, and there is a multi-party system. The President holds a primarily ceremonial role as Head of State. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament, the Saeima. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

    Major industries - processed foods, processed wood products, textiles, processed metals, pharmaceuticals, railroad cars, synthetic fibres, electronics.

  • Banks (2010)  - 31 banks; 223 branches; 11,616 employees; assets – EUR 31,25 billion; loans – EUR 20,35 billion; deposits – EUR 15,79 billion

    Banking regulation - The principal legal framework related to the status, operations and supervision of banks in Latvia is out in the Law on Credit Institutions (‘the Banking Law’). The Finance and Capital Markets Commission is  the  regulator and has supervisory  authority in the banking sector. The Banking Law also  stipulates  the authority of  the  central  bank  –  the Bank of   Latvia –  to issue binding regulations and guidelines for banks within the scope of its statutory duties relating to the implementation of  monetary policy and ensuring the functioning of  the national payment and settlement system. The minimum capital base (excluding preferential shares with set dividends) for a bank in Latvia is EUR 5 million, payable in cash. Consequently, the amount of shareholder equity in a bank must not fall below this threshold.