Latvia okays sale of Danske Bank business in Latvia to Citadele Bank

RIGA, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Latvia’s banking watchdog has approved the planned acquisition of the remains of Danske Bank’s Latvian business by Citadele Bank, the country’s fourth-largest bank, it said on Wednesday.

Danske Bank has been exiting all Baltic states after it was kicked out of Estonia following its admission in 2018 that suspicious payments totaling 200 billion euros ($223 billion) from Russia and elsewhere had flowed through its Estonian branch, triggering worldwide probes.

The sale in Latvia is to be finalised in February.

The Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) said in a statement the nod followed a request submitted by Danske Bank in December.

“Cidatele Bank had signed an agreement on the intention to buy the remaining part of mortgage loans of Danske Bank’s Latvian branch,” a Citadele Bank spokeswoman said.

Reporting by Gederts Gelzis, editing by Anna Ringstrom and Emelia Sithole-Matarise