RIGA, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Latvia is ready to respond to any ripple effect of ABLV Bank’s troubles but does not consider the lender critical enough to warrant state intervention, the country’s finance minister told Reuters on Friday.
“Knowing that, potentially, there might be some domino effects on (other) banks ... we monitor the situation on an hourly basis,” Dana Reizniece-Ozola said in an interview.
“We have all the instruments in place to swiftly react should it be necessary,” she said. “At this point, it is stable and no further actions are needed.”
U.S authorities have accused ABLV of engaging in large scale money laundering for Russian clients. The bank denies these allegations.
Fearing U.S. sanctions, depositors have withdraw around 600 million euros ($737.6 million) from the bank, forcing the European Central Bank to halt all payments to prevent a collapse of the lender.
“ABLV is not regarded as a systemic bank, which means the government would not rescue it because its exposure to the Latvian economy is low,” the minister said. ($1 = 0.8134 euros) (Reporting by John O’Donnell and Gederts Gelzis; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)