Today the Council of Latvijas Banka approved amendments to Regulation No. 36 "Regulation for Purchasing and Selling Cash Foreign Currency" of 13 May 2009 (hereinafter –Regulation), to take effect on 1 June 2016. According to these amendments, capital companies licensed by Latvijas Banka to purchase and sell cash foreign currencies will no longer be required to incorporate their commissions and other additional charges in the buying and selling rates of foreign currencies.

At the same time, requirements with regard to informing the customers of the applicable commissions and other additional charges have been established, thereby ensuring the protection of consumer rights and interests. The above amendments provide that the information concerning any commissions and other additional charges has to be expressly displayed. A customer's rights to revoke a foreign currency purchase or sales transaction where no information about the additional charges was provided have also been reserved.

With the amendments taking effect, other commercial activity alongside with purchasing and selling foreign currencies will also be allowed at the sites of purchasing and selling foreign currencies, without prejudice to the implementation of the regulatory requirements concerning the foreign exchange transactions.

The amendments were prepared based on an analysis of the effectiveness of applying the Regulation which was conducted by the Licensing Committee of Latvijas Banka, as well as proposals by businesses operating in this field.

Latvijas Banka is the central bank of Latvia - an independent institution and a member of the Eurosystem. The primary objective of Latvijas Banka is the same as that of the central banks of other euro area countries and the European Central Bank – price stability (inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term). This is an essential precondition for a strong and growth-oriented economy. To achieve that, Latvijas Banka participates in the formulation of the Eurosystem's monetary policy, related decision-making and implementation.

Furthermore, acting in the public and economic interests, Latvijas Banka carries out the following main tasks within the Eurosystem:

– manages foreign reserves;
– issues cash in Latvia and participates in ensuring the cash circulation process in the euro area;
– promotes smooth operation of the payment systems;
– compiles financial and monetary statistics, as well as balance of payments statistics;
– maintains and develops the Credit Register.

Latvijas Banka promotes analysis and research of macroeconomic and financial issues, thereby laying a secure foundation for professional activities in these areas. The role of the leading industry expert helps Latvijas Banka enhance the public understanding of the fundamentals of the economy and the monetary system and the current situation.