Today the Council of Latvijas Banka approved amendments to Procedure No 213/9 "On the Regulation for Servicing of Customer Accounts of Latvijas Banka" of 16 September 2013.
The amendments stipulate that payment institutions and e-money institutions licensed in the European Economic Area have access to the infrastructure and contemporary payment types supported by the electronic clearing system of Latvijas Banka (the EKS system; hereinafter, the EKS). It is expected that this will promote the development of modern payments in Latvia, improve the access to payment services for Latvia's population and businesses as well as the competitiveness of Latvia's financial technologies or FinTech sector in the field of payments.
To be able to benefit from Latvijas Banka services, the respective payment institution and e-money institution will be given an opportunity to open a current account with Latvijas Banka. This will ensure safe custody of the institution's customer funds required for customer payments in euro made in SEPA or the Single Euro Payments Area (https://www.bank.lv/en/about-us/tasks/payment-systems/sepa).
Latvijas Banka organises and maintains the payment infrastructure in Latvia, including two automated payment systems helping to ensure interbank settlements in euro. TARGET2-Latvija is one of the component systems of the Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer system, whereas the EKS system is a net settlement system used for the processing of retail interbank payments in euro. Latvijas Banka continues to develop the EKS system's infrastructure, inter alia actively preparing itself for the implementation of the instant payment service in 2017.
In 2015, TARGET2-Latvija processed 359.1 thousand payments totalling 264.7 billion euro, whereas the EKS system handled 38.0 million payments with the total value of 52.4 billion euro.
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. Latvijas Banka takes an active part in promoting economic education among the general public.