Concluding Statement by Participating Parent BanksEuropean Banking Group Coordination Meeting for Latvia Held in Stockholm, Sweden, on September 11, 2009
We, the parent institutions of the four largest foreign-owned banks operating in Latvia, met in Stockholm, Sweden, on September 11, 2009 at the joint invitation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission (EC). The meeting was also attended by the international financial organizations, which launched on February 26, 2009, the “Joint IFI Action Plan In Support of Banking Systems and Lending to the Real Economy in Central and Eastern Europe” (the EBRD, European Investment Bank, and World Bank Group), the home country banking supervisors and other relevant public institutions (from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden), the Bank of Latvia (BoL), the Financial and Capital Market Commission of Latvia (FCMC) and the European Central Bank.
We agreed on the following considerations and conclusions:
1. We accept with satisfaction the shared analysis of the FCMC, the IMF and the EC that all foreign-owned banks in Latvia are currently in sound financial condition, and that the parent banks have so far provided their Latvian affiliates with capital, funding, managerial and other types of expertise as the need arose.
2. The IMF, the EC and other multilateral and bilateral donors agreed in December 2008 on an international financial support package of 7.5 billion Euro for Latvia that was approved by the Executive Board of the IMF on December 23, 2008 and the EU Council of Ministers on 20 January, 2009. The international support package has greatly contributed to macro-economic and financial stability in Latvia. Indeed, we welcome the latest substantial disbursements by the EC and the IMF, as well as their flexible response to changing macroeconomic and fiscal conditions.
3. We recognize that the success of the macroeconomic program, as well as medium term balance of payments sustainability in Latvia also depends crucially on the continued involvement of all banks operating in or with Latvia, including foreign-owned banks.
4. We entered the Latvian market as strategic investors and key contributors to its transition toward an open, market-based economy, based on our assessment of and continued confidence in the country’s long-term growth prospects. We have made substantial investments in Latvia over a number of years, and we remain committed to playing a constructive role in the development of the Latvian economy by providing credit to companies and households.
5. It is in our collective interest and in the interest of Latvia for all of us to restate, in a coordinated way, our commitment to maintain our overall exposure to Latvia subject to nominal GDP development and the availability of sound business opportunities. Mechanisms to specify this effort will be developed in due course, taking into account availability of adequate lending opportunities or alternative investment instruments in Latvia within boundaries defined by sound risk, capital and liquidity management practices.
6. We also acknowledge that our operations in Latvia have been and will continue to adjust to the current challenging macroeconomic environment. We are committed to meeting the capital and liquidity needs of our subsidiaries and branches in Latvia in conformity with the respective legal and regulatory frameworks.
7. We are aware that the BoL, like many central banks, regularly conducts stress tests to estimate the potential losses that all Latvian banks might face under diverse scenarios during the period of the international financial support package. We welcome the BoL's and FCMC’s efforts to extend its existing stress testing framework, taking into account the multi-country experience of the IMF. Our subsidiaries in Latvia agreed to participate in a co-ordinated stress testing exercise performed by banks themselves based on uniform input assumptions.
8. We acknowledge that these exercises engender confidence in the soundness of the Latvian banking system, and agree to support our Latvian subsidiaries and branches as needed in order to: (i) demonstrate our long-term commitment to the Latvian market; and (ii) signal our willingness to support a comprehensive and well-coordinated international response to the crisis. We are prepared to discuss the results of stress tests bilaterally with the Latvian and our respective home authorities, and to agree on any necessary further steps based on these discussions.
9. We are therefore prepared to confirm these commitments, within the framework of the existing international financial support package, on a bilateral basis with the Latvian authorities, and with the due involvement of our home country supervisory authorities, according to European and the respective national regulatory frameworks. In doing so, we reaffirm our commitment to promote financial stability in the Baltic region as a whole.
Bank DnB NORD A/S (Denmark)
(AS DnB NORD Banka, Latvia)
Nordea Bank Finland Plc (Finland)
(Nordea Bank Finland Plc Latvia branch)
Swedbank AB (Sweden)
(Swedbank AS, Latvia)
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (Sweden)
(AS SEB banka, Latvia)