Bank of Italy to close AS PrivatBank branch over money-laundering breaches

MILAN, Aug 9 (Reuters) - The Bank of Italy said on Tuesday it had started proceedings to shut down the Italian branch of Latvian lender AS PrivatBank after finding breaches of money-laundering regulations.

The Bank of Italy said AS PrivatBank would not be allowed to carry out any further operations in the country beyond letting clients withdraw savings or transfer them to other banks.

The Italian central bank said it had taken the measures after inspections carried out between March 16 and April 6 this year.

“(The inspections) showed serious violations of money-laundering regulations with the risk the irregularities could be repeated,” the Bank of Italy said.

AS PrivatBank, 46 percent owned by Ukraine’s PrivatBank, was set up in Latvia in 1992 with 13 branches in Latvia and one in Italy.

PrivatBank was not immediately available to comment.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, additional reporting by Matthias Williams and Natalia Zinets in Kiev, editing by Giulia Segreti and Jane Merriman