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IndustryFinancial services
Founded1993; 26 years ago (1993)
Key people
Ernest Bernis
Oleg Fil
Vadim Reinfeld
Increase €79.34 mln (2016)[1]
Total assetsIncrease €3849.59 mln (2016)[1]
Total equityIncrease €366.65 mln (2016)[1]

ABLV Bank, AS is one of the largest private banks in the Baltic states, headquartered in Riga, Latvia with representative offices abroad.

ABLV has three primary lines of business: private banking, investment and financial planning.

Following accusations of money laundering by the United States Department of the Treasury[2] and continued pressure from national regulatory agencies,[3] on 26 February 2018 the ABLV board voted to start the process of voluntary liquidation.[4][5]


The bank was founded on 17 September 1993 on the basis of the Bank of Latvia regional branch in the city of Aizkraukle, thus the bank was named Aizkraukles Banka.

In 1995, there were changes made to the bank’s shareholding structure: Ernest Bernis and Oleg Fil, became the bank’s shareholders and executives. Also in 1995, the bank started expanding its activities and founded a branch in Riga. In the following years, the bank worked in the field of providing services to foreign customers, offering them various banking products, mainly related to funds transferring service.

2002 - AB.LV trademark was created

In 2004, the bank focused on developing second line of its primary activities – investment management. Two subsidiary companies were founded: ABLV Asset Management, IPAS, dealing with investment management, and ABLV Capital Markets, IBAS, which provided brokerage services.

In 2008, the bank adopted new strategy, emphasizing development of bespoke financial solutions for customers. Since 2009, the bank offered a third line of services – advisory on asset protection and structuring.

2011 - The bank’s name was changed to ABLV Bank, AS

The new brand and name was intended for increasing association with the chosen lines of business, strengthening the bank’s reputation internationally, meanwhile retaining links to the former brand.

2012 – Growth

ABLV Group consisted of several companies – ABLV Bank, ABLV Bank Luxembourg, ABLV Asset Management, ABLV Capital Markets, ABLV Corporate Services, ABLV Consulting Services, and Pillar Holding Company. Financial indicators as at 31 December 2012:

  • Net profit of ABLV Group amounted to EUR 23,4 million.
  • Total amount of deposits with ABLV Bank equaled EUR 2.66 billion.
  • Amount of ABLV Bank assets totaled EUR 3.04 billion.

2014 – ABLV Bank supervised by ECB

ABLV Bank started to be directly supervised by the European Central Bank in cooperation with the National Regulator – the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) within the frames of the ECB’s single supervisory mechanism.

2015 - representative office in Hong Kong

ABLV group opened a representative office in Hong Kong.

2018 - ABLV is in voluntary liquidation [6][5]


The main office of ABLV Bank, AS is situated in the so-called quiet center of Riga, in an Art Nouveau tenement house dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. The author of the house is architect-engineer Mr. Hibig, while facades were designed by Mr. Giesecke.

ABLV is represented in 9 foreign countries (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Luxemburg) — 11 representative offices in different cities and the subsidiary bank in Luxembourg ABLV Bank Luxembourg, S.A.

Lines of business[edit]

ABLV Bank provides wide range of banking products and services:

  • Settlement and Cash Services;
  • Payment Cards;
  • Remote Account Management;
  • Loans;
  • Documentary Operations;
  • Fiduciary Transactions;
  • Safe Deposit Boxes

ABLV group renders investment management and brokerage services, such as:

  • Deposits; Bank Bonds, Mutual Funds;
  • Asset Management;
  • Brokerage Services;
  • Securities Custody.

Providing advisory services, ABLV group offer legal and tax solutions for protection and efficient management of customer’s assets:

  • Asset Protection;
  • Charitable Foundations;
  • Commercial Companies;
  • Legal Advice;
  • Tax Advice;
  • Administrative Services.


The bank’s controlling interest is held by Ernest Bernis (43%) and Oleg Fil (43%).[7] The bank’s other shareholders include top management, employees, and the bank’s long-term partners and customers.

ABLV Bank is a member of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks, which protects interests of Latvian banks both in domestic and foreign markets, certifies banking specialists.


ABLV was sanctioned by the United States for facilitating prohibited transactions for North Korea.[8] The bank has been banned from the American financial network.[8] Bill Browder has alleged that the bank was being used by Russians for money laundering purposes, a complaint being investigated by the European Central Bank and the Latvian Control Service.[9]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bank Profile: ABLV Bank
  2. ^ "Proposal of Special Measure Against ABLV Bank, AS as a Financial Institution of Primary Money Laundering Concern, 83 Fed. Reg. 33" (PDF). 2018-02-16.
  3. ^ Milne, Richard (21 March 2018), "US ire prompts Latvia to root out systemic failures on banking", Financial Times
  4. ^ "Voluntary Liquidation of ABLV Bank, AS to Protect the Interests of Clients and Creditors". ABLV Bank. 2018-03-15.
  5. ^ a b "€83 million paid out to ABLV clients within month". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. Latvijas Radio. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Announcement on Voluntary Liquidation of ABLV Bank, AS to Protect the Interests of Clients and Creditors". 2018-02-26.
  7. ^ [1] ABLV bank Baltic Legal
  8. ^ a b "(LEAD) Investigation underway into Latvian bank suspected of illegal dealing with N. Korea". Yonhap News Agency. February 14, 2018. The investigation comes as the United States has reportedly imposed sanctions on the Latvian bank ABLV for its financial transactions with North Korean entities blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council. The Latvian bank's financial transactions contributed to North Korea's illicit procuring for or exporting of its ballistic missile system, according to a report by Voice of America. Under the U.S. sanctions, the Latvian bank is prohibited from opening or keeping a bank account in the U.S. and barred from the American financial network.
  9. ^ O'Donnell, John (June 22, 2018). Smith, Alexander, ed. "Latvia investigates complaint linking bank to Russian fraud". Reuters.