The newly created Finance Latvia Association is a result of the expansion of activities of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks.
Thanks to the development of different factors, the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks has turned into the Finance Latvia Association, which takes up a more broad stance to include all financial sectors, not only banking.
Several reasons were named for the development of the Association, being:
- the development of the financial industry
- the growing cooperation between players in the sector
- the sustained creation of innovations in fintech
The Association is a body that represents the interests of fintech players at a national and international level. Though the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks had previously only welcomed banks as participants, they have now expanded and have opened their doors to fintech startups and other businesses in related fields. Fintech startups are invited to join the current 28 members of the newly established Association.
The association’s three priority directions for work remain the same — development, technology and compliance.
- Development — facilitating further development of the finance sector in Latvia, focusing on the accessibility of a range of innovative products with high added value that are competitive on the unified EU market.
- Technology — positioning Latvia as a leading EU country in open financial services, offering advanced digital services.
- Compliance — enabling the attainment of the highest standards of compliance.
The basic principles and values of the organization are creating a unified platform and maintaining high-quality discussions on topical issues are openness, responsibility, and cooperation.
Every associate member or member has to prove their readiness to adhere to the Social Charter and Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) initiatives.
Some of the main benefits of being a member of the association are listed to be:
- becoming a participant in workgroups to develop future policy
- co-operate with other organizations to solve relevant issues
- participate in European Banking Federation events
- and more.
Sanda Liepiņa, the head of the Finance Latvia Association, explains the decisionmaking behind the expansion:
“These changes, stemming from global and local trends in the industry, are a logical step forward in the development of the association. We realized the need for changes as well as our ability to unite the industry and facilitate a high-quality discussion some time ago — for instance, in 2017 we ensured a united position among market participants about the future of the European Union’s financial market and the development of financial technologies. Questions are appearing more often on the association’s agenda for which we need collaboration between the financial and technology industries, as well as other related industries. Thus closer cooperation would allow for quicker decision-making in matters essential to the financial sector.”
The Finance Latvia Association’s vision is for Latvia’s financial sector to become a model for Europe in terms of cooperation and innovation. The Finance Latvia Association expects Latvia to become one of the top EU countries shaping an open financial sector, and consequently, it is essential to create a platform for cooperation between all the parties involved and to promote discussion on topical issues.