History

Established in 1918, Latvia is a democratic parliamentary republic. The capital city of Latvia is Riga,which was also the European Culture Capital in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a permanent member of the European Union and NATO, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OSCE and WTO.

Throughout its colourful history, Latvia was ruled by Poland, Lithuania, the Russian Empire, Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1991 Latvia gained its independence. Today, it is estimated that approximately 72% of Latvian citizens are actually Latvian, while 20% are Russian.

The Latvia economy is diverse and has grown by over 4% in 2014, one of the highest GDP growths in Europe. Latvia has four major ports, making it a global shipping industry center, profits from extensive foreign direct investment and has a well developed financial center, with Riga serving as one of the major the financial hubs of Eastern Europe and Russia.

Banking Institutions

Latvia has over 30 commercial banks, 26 authorized custodians, and numerous licensed money service businesses. The Financial and Capital Market Commission is the financial services regulator in Latvia.

Laws and Regulations

Latvia is a member of the Eurozone (2014), the World Trade Organisation (1999) and the European Union (2004). As a major offshore financial centre, Latvia enjoys one of the most stable financial systems in Eastern Europe, making it a preferred destination for financial dealings the world over. Latvia is very keen on growing its financial services sector even further, by promoting financial literacy in Latvia by popular events such as “the Financial Services Literacy Week. To make sure that the financial sector keeps growing, financial regulators in Latvia enact laws and principles to ensure its stable and sustainable growth. Performance data collected by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) show that despite some uncertainty in the geopolitical situation, 2014 saw banks follow a development route, as they have in all previous years. The banks continue to improve their key performance indicators: the banking sector maintained high capitalization and liquidity levels, profitability and loan portfolio quality improved, and the growth in deposits continued.

Bank Secrecy

Latvia is ranked at 53rd position on the banking secrecy index of 2014. It is estimated that in 2014 Latvia held over $100 billion in assets and deposits because of tight secrecy. Latvia does not maintain company ownership details in official records, and does not require that company ownership details are publicly available online. Latvia’s popularity is often ascribed to it being regarded as an stable and secret centre for making deposits or holding assets while playing a full part in the modern financial community and the European Union.

Electronic Payments

Latvia is a member of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). The SWIFT network is the safest and most secure system for financial transactions worldwide.

Banking Facilities

SFM has a relationship with an extensive network of private and major banks latvia. All of the banks we refer our customers to offer a full international banking platform, with multi-currency accounts (£, € & $) as well with online banking and debit/credit cards.

Once your order has been completed, you will be assigned a dedicated account manager that will guide you through the bank account opening procedure. Then, we will carefully select with you a bank from one of our leading partners that perfectly fits your requirements like a tailored suit.

Which documents are needed to open a bank account?

As a general rule the bank asks for a certified copy of the shareholder's and director's passport (beneficial owner), as well as recent proof of residence which, must be less than three months old. If the client goes to the bank in person to open the account, a certified copy of the passport is not required.

We will send you the additional documents necessary for opening the account by email, as an attachment, for you to sign and return to us preferably by special courier ( DHL, FedEx or Chronopost), along with the other documents mentioned above.