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Published: 14.01.2020

Published in "Financial Sector Update".

As the newly-appointed Governor of Latvijas Banka (the central bank of Latvia), I am delighted to outline some of the exciting changes the central bank and the financial sector will be enjoying in the near future. The purpose of these changes is to strengthen the reputation of Latvijas Banka, the financial sector, and Latvia as a whole – following a period of almost two years of uncertainty.

The changes we are undertaking are ambitious. Although central banks, traditionally, are conservative institutions, the world and the financial sector are undergoing significant transformation, and so will Latvijas Banka. We will endeavor to be transparent and open throughout this transformation, operating as a reliable partner serving the public. We have been actively co-operating with Latvian and international institutions, contributing to the economic analysis and modernisation of the financial sector.

The changes implemented at Latvijas Banka represent one of the final building blocks in a major reform of the Latvian financial sector. Over the past year, Latvian institutions have collaborated on multiple projects to improve national legislation and introduce practical measures for preventing money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF), and we intend to continue this impressive work. A transparent, sustainable, and sound financial sector is vital for the Latvian people, and should become the "new normal".

The sustainability of the financial sector is not only the number one priority for Latvia, but also the entirety of Europe, and will require powerful institutional regulation. My role will include promoting the initiative on a pan-European AML regulation and establishing the institutional framework. Latvia's experience demonstrates that, with significant coordinated effort, we can achieve much in a short period of time.

On December 12 2019, the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia appointed Mārtiņš Kazāks the Governor of Latvijas Banka for the period of the next five years, starting on December 21 2019.

 "Financial Sector Update" Issue No. 20 (14 January 2020)