History

ABLV Bank, AS was the largest independent private bank in Latvia. Bank’s controlling interest is held by Ernests Bernis and Oļegs Fiļs. Other shareholders include bank’s top management, employees, as well as long-term partners and customers.

The bank was founded on 17 September 1993 based on a regional branch of the Bank of Latvia in the city of Aizkraukle, which is why initially the bank was named Aizkraukles Banka. In 1995, bank’s shareholding structure was changed: Ernests Bernis and Oļegs Fiļs became the shareholders and executives of the bank, and have been working solely in this field since then. Also in 1995, the bank started expanding its activities and opened a branch in Riga.

In the following years, the bank actively provided services to foreign customers, offering them diverse products, mainly related to payments, and became a notable player in the financial market. The bank was among the first in Latvia to start developing different remote services, thus improving quality of services and ensuring even more rapid growth.

In 2002, AB.LV trademark was created. In 2004, the bank began developing a second line of services – investment management. Two subsidiary companies were founded: IPAS "AB.LV Asset Management", dealing with investment management, and IBAS "AB.LV Capital Markets", providing brokerage services. In 2008, the bank adopted a new strategy focussing on bespoke financial solutions for customers. In 2009, the bank began offering a third line of services — advisory on asset protection and structuring. In 2011, the bank’s name was changed to ABLV Bank, AS.

The statement released by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the beginning of 2018 halted the operation of the bank. Soon the Financial and Capital Market Commission (hereinafter – the FCMC) made a decision on unavailability of deposits, after which, on 26 February 2018, at their extraordinary meeting, shareholders of ABLV Bank made a decision about voluntary liquidation, which was subsequently approved by the FCMC on 12 June 2018.

Until February 2018, ABLV Group was employing more than 900 people. During ten years, the bank had paid more than EUR 145 million in taxes. The bank was the third largest bank in the Republic of Latvia and the biggest private bank with Latvian capital. Over the last years, the bank began shifting its focus on local market, including investment projects, management of pension capital and lending.

The bank was one of the biggest lenders in Latvia, offering both mortgage loans to households and financing to enterprises, thus fostering development of different industries. The bank was also developing real estate projects, inter alia by 2033 it was planned to attract up to EUR 1 billion of investments for the new business centre New Hanza.

ABLV Capital Markets, IBAS, the subsidiary company of ABLV Bank, AS, was one of the largest brokerage service providers in Latvia, and by the end of 2017 amount of assets its clients had invested in financial instruments had reached EUR 1.34 billion. Company was dissolved on 18 December 2019.

ABLV Asset Management, IPAS was the largest mutual funds manager in Latvia with fund assets exceeding EUR 130 million on 31 December 2017. ABLV Asset Management, IPAS is operating also in the pension capital management in Latvia.

Holding company New Hanza Capital, AS also is a part of ABLV Group; it consolidates the real estate business of ABLV Bank, AS in liquidation. This holding company incorporates the enterprises of Pillar Group that deal with real estate development, construction and estate management. Stated capital of New Hanza Capital, AS is EUR 115.3 million, and ABLV Bank, AS holds 97.4% of its shares.

ABLV Bank, AS in liquidation also holds 22.96% of the shares of holding company AmberStone Group, AS. The main financial goal of AmberStone Group, AS is to achieve the growth in the value of the holding, as well as ensure sustainable activity and stability of its subsidiary and affiliated companies. So far AmberStone Group has made investments in medicine, agriculture, maritime shipping, hospitality, wood processing and other industries in Latvia.