For customers

What Is Money Laundering?

Money laundering includes acts which aim to legalize money or other property acquired by way of criminal acts, or conceal its source. These acts are usually conducted by drug dealers, robbers, terrorists, burglars, tax evaders, smugglers, persons who accept bribes, and other persons related thereof.

Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (hereinafter – the Law) imposes an obligation on Latvian credit institutions to understand the economic and/or personal activities of their clients and to prevent the risk to be involved in transactions which are related to money laundering or terrorism or proliferation financing.

The compliance with the requirements of Sanctions regulations, prevention of money laundering, and terrorist financing in Bank is regulated by the Procedure for Prevention on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.[MA1] The purpose of the procedure is to assist the employees of the Bank to duly implement in their activity the requirements of the legal acts of the Republic of Latvia regulating prevention of money laundering. All structural units and subsidiaries of the Bank are subject to the Procedure for Prevention on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

Principle “Know Your Customer“

The Bank must follow the principle "Know your customer". This implies that Bank employees have to understand the customer's activity. In order to know the customer the employee of the Bank submits Private person or Legal person questionnaires to the customer to fill in. It is necessary to receive information about customer‘s activities and income sources, financial activity. This information helps to understand customer‘s needs, it is easier to offer suitable products and services for customer. Also, implementation of principle “Know your customer” helps to prevent possible money laundering and protect customers from fraud.

Also Bank must identify the actual beneficial owner, who is a natural person controlling the managing body of a legal person or a person on whose behalf and in whose interest a bank transaction is being concluded. According to AML Law, it is necessary to identify if customer or customer‘s close family members or close associates are considered as Politically Exposed Persons who are or were entrusted with prominent public functions in the Republic of Latvia, European Union, international or foreign countries institutions.

If the aim of a transaction is not clear, Bank employees must inquire the customer about the aim of his financial transaction and/or the source of funds. In particular situations the Bank may request to present agreements, invoices or other documents or information confirming the customer's explanations in order to ensure transactions compliance with AML/CTF and Sanctions regulations. Until the transaction is not verified, ability to use the funds could be restricted.

The Bank protects all the information provided by a customer concerning their business relations. A customer must inform the Bank about any changes in the information provided. Throughout the entire period of business relations with a customer the Bank must verify whether the submitted data and documents are authentic and accurate as well as observe business relations with the customers.

The following options apply to revising customer data

  • Revising customer data in Internet bank
    you can find the customer data questionnaire in the upper right-hand menu: Settings → Internet bank settings → Customer questionnaire.
    Filling in the questionnaire in Internet bank is secure, because your person is identified in Internet bank before answering the questions. 
  • Renewing customer data by e-mail
    Please download the form, save it in pdf-format after filling it in and send it back with your electronic signature to the e-mail address

 Questionnaire for private individuals
 Questionnaire for legal entities

Sanctions compliance policy

What are sanctions and who must comply with them?

Sanctions are a set of measures imposed by the competent authorities against the states, natural and legal persons as well as other subjects that violate the human rights, cause ethnical, territorial and religious conflicts, support terrorism or violate other international norms and principles. Sanctions restrictions can be applied to natural and legal persons, countries, commodities, services, vessels, etc. and can include requirements of asset freeze, refusing to conduct transactions, refraining from contracts with sanctioned entities/individuals, providing loans or other financing, etc.
Sanctions may be imposed by the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) or by individual countries, such as the United States (U.S.) or the United Kingdom (UK).
EU imposed International Sanctions (including implemented UN sanctions) apply within the territory of the EU and to all EU persons inside or outside the territory of the EU. Luminor as a financial institution implements international financial sanctions, and our customers need to be aware and comply with sanctions in their operations as well.
We also expect our customers to be aware of indirect financial sanctions aspects. Whereas a buyer or seller or any other counterparty is not sanctioned itself or included in sanctions lists, the company’s shareholder, management board member or CEO (if certain rules are met) who is sanctioned could make the company indirectly sanctioned. In such a case, the company falls under financial sanctions and is subject to applicable restrictions.

What is the bank’s responsibility and policy on sanctions?

Luminor has a responsibility to monitor, evaluate and observe laws and binding requirements related to financial and trade sanctions set by the UN, EU, national governments (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and other authorities.
We comply with the established requirements of international sanctions imposed by:

  • United Nations;
  • European Union;
  • countries where the bank and its affiliates are operating (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania);
  • United States of America;
  • United Kingdom;
  • Sweden;
  • Norway;
  • or any authority acting on behalf of any of them with regards to the sanctions.

Luminor is precautious when fulfilling sanctions compliance requirements, considers correspondent banks requirements as well as its own risk appetite, and therefore, will not engage in any actions (e.g. will not execute a transaction, provide financial services or make a deal) that directly or indirectly (through intermediaries) evade the sanctions prohibitions, correspondent banks requirements and Luminor internal decisions.

The bank may also refrain from the transaction or deal if it is not in line with our risk appetite due to high exposure to sanctions risks and heightened risk of violating sanctions laws and regulations.
According to internal policy, Luminor does not make any deals or execute transactions if they have a direct or indirect connection with the following sanctioned countries/territories:

  • Iran;
  • DPRK (North Korea);
  • Syrian Arab Republic;
  • Cuba;
  • Crimea;
  • non-government-controlled areas of Ukraine in the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Luminor may suspend provision of any services to customers located within the territories above.

Luminor may consider processing the transactions that involve these territories if their purpose is related to humanitarian aid; however, such transactions would be evaluated individually as to whether they fall under respective regulatory exceptions, require a license, etc.
Please be informed that there are international sanctions imposed on many other countries or territories, e.g., non-government-controlled areas of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia; Iraq, Sudan, etc. Therefore, the transactions involving countries falling under sanctions prohibitions may be stopped for investigation.
Luminor’s, as well as other banks’ participating in the payment chain, policy towards specific countries, areas, sectors, etc. might be more restrictive than applicable financial sanctions due to the overall financial crime and sanctions risk associated with the specific country, area, sectors, etc. Therefore, the term of executing an international transaction may be longer than usual or an international transaction may be blocked or frozen by other banks that also participate in the execution of the transaction (correspondent bank, beneficiary’s or sender’s bank).
Please note that Luminor has the responsibility and will report to the competent authorities identified subjects of sanctions as well as cases where the suspicion of transactions with sanctioned subject or suspicion of sanctions evasion is raised in accordance with regulatory requirements. The bank has the right to cease its partnership with customers to whom sanctions apply, or if there is reasonable doubt that they are breaching or circumventing sanctions.
We consider as sanctions evasion the attempt and intentional activity to remove or conceal the involvement of sanctioned countries, territories, goods, legal entities or natural persons in a transaction or series of transactions using various techniques that would evade financial or sectoral sanctions.
It must be noted that any attempts to perform transactions or deals related to sanctions evasion may result in severe consequences such as imprisonment, fines or negative reputational consequences.

Does Luminor allow payments to/from Russia/Belarus?

Luminor has suspended outgoing payments to Russia and Belarus from 1 June 2022 and incoming payments from Russia and Belarus from 1 July 2022 in all currencies.

Where can I find information on sanctions that apply to Russia and Belarus?

Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures (sanctions) against Russia, initially in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. On 23 February 2022, the EU expanded the sanctions against Russia in response to the recognition of the non-government-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine and the ordering of Russian armed forces into those areas. After 24 February 2022, in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, the EU massively expanded the sanctions. It added a significant number of persons and entities to the sanctions list and adopted unprecedented measures with the aim of significantly weakening Russia's economic base, depriving it of critical technologies and markets, and significantly curtailing its ability to wage war.

In parallel, the EU sanctions regime concerning Belarus has been expanded in response to that country’s involvement in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and in addition to the sanctions already in place in view of the situation in Belarus. This sanctions regime consists of an array of financial, economic and trade measures.

The European Commission has prepared an overview of the sanctions imposed and is constantly updating the FAQ. For more information please visit the European Commission web page.

Similar measures were adopted by UK and U.S. authorities.

Information on UK sanctions relating to Russia can be found here.

Information on U.S. OFAC sanctions can be found here.

What should I do if my business partner has become sanctioned?

We strictly recommend to refrain from any further business relationship and execution of payments to/from a sanctioned business partner as the payments can be stopped, frozen or rejected. Sanctioned subjects may turn to competent authorities with the request to issue a general or special license allowing certain transactions if applicable regulatory requirements stipulate such conditions. However, in such cases we evaluate each transaction individually and make a decision based on multiple factors.
If you need more consulting on sanctions applications, please contact the local competent authorities or seek legal advice.

Why does Luminor ask me to provide information and documents regarding the transaction or other party?

Among other prohibitions (e.g., to sell, supply or transfer certain goods to a sanctioned location), the regulations usually prohibit related technical and financial assistance. To understand and manage sanctions risks, Luminor as a financial institution must verify whether the transaction is compliant with applicable legislation and internal policy. Therefore, our request to provide information should be considered as a routine process that applies to all customers. Please note that you must be able to prove that your operations are not prohibited transactions, including to provide supporting documents.

What supporting documents and information should I provide regarding a transaction?

Usually, we request customers to provide invoices for the goods/services, agreements, bills of lading, CMRs, SMGS, import declarations, air waybills, customs declarations, documents proving the origin of goods, packing lists, technical specifications of the goods, HS/CN codes of the goods, end-user certificates, export/import licenses from a competent authority, information about partner or intermediary and business relationship with the partner or intermediary. Please note that depending on the situation we may ask other documents or information, including information on the beneficiaries, CEO of the business partner and other details of business relationship.
We recommend, especially for customers engaged in trade and transportation activities, to have at hand supporting documents and information in good quality and order. You should be able to explain the purpose of the transaction, indicate the end user, end destination, justify that the goods/services involved do not fall under prohibitions, etc., even if involved only as an intermediary. A response or confirmation that the goods/services are not prohibited by sanctions does not negate sanctions risk factor if it is not supported by sufficient justification.

What happens if I don’t provide the requested information?

If we do not receive the necessary information or requested documents on time or if they do not answer the questions, we will have to reject the transaction and also have the right to terminate the business relationship with you.

What is my role and responsibility in complying with sanctions regulations?

All natural and legal persons must comply with the UN, EU and national sanctions regimes and have the obligation to inform the competent authorities about known or suspected cases of transactions with sanctioned subjects. Bank customers are also responsible for staying informed of developments in regulations and restrictions that may affect their customers and businesses.
We strongly recommend to responsibly assess the risk of sanctions before working with business partners or providing services to customers. 

  • Evaluate your business exposure to sanctions based on your business activity sector and services/goods provided/involved. (Is the import/export/transportation of your products restricted? What currency are you dealing in? Where is your business located and where do you operate from?)
  • Consider geographical risk. (Where are your business partners registered? Where are your goods/services destined to or imported from? What is the origin of the goods being purchased/sold? Does it involve sanctioned countries or countries that apply certain restrictions in selling goods manufactured in their country, e.g., US-origin goods?)
  • Know your business partners and other involved counterparties and intermediaries. (Who are your business partners? What is their business activity? Could it be related to the defence sector? Are there any sanctioned business partners involved? Are they owned by sanctioned subjects? Who is transporting the goods? How and via what routes?)

We invite customers to make sure that the business partner/customer and their beneficiaries are not on sanctions lists. We recommend that you check your business partner’s and/or customer’s compliance with the sanctions lists not only when establishing new business relations, but also on a regular basis and in the case of long-term business relationships.

How can I ensure that my business partner will not re-export prohibited goods to Russia/Belarus?

Customers who are EU operators are expected to have in place adequate due diligence procedures to ensure that their exports of covered items are not diverted to Russia/Belarus. This could include, for example, contractual clauses with their third-country business partner giving rise to liability in case the latter re-exports the items to sanctioned locations (e.g., Russia/Belarus), as well as ex-post verifications.
You should keep in mind that if a restricted item exported from the EU to a third country is re-exported to sanctioned locations (e.g., Russia/Belarus), the competent authorities may consider your failure to conduct adequate due diligence as a breach of the Sanctions Regulation. If the EU exporter knowingly and intentionally fails to conduct such due diligence, this can be considered as participation in a circumvention scheme.

Why does Luminor stop payments where no sanctioned countries are involved?

We are obliged to follow applicable sanctions regulations, and thus, we monitor all customer transactions to ensure that no sanctions are breached. Luminor must stay vigilant and stop for further analysis any transactions that could be linked to associated sanctions risks, even if at first glance they do not involve sanctioned subjects, goods, services or territories. Perpetrators may use many methods to evade sanctions, and thus, to ensure sanctions application, it is necessary to apply certain controls, which may include stopping the payment and asking the customer to provide supporting transaction documents. Thus, we recommend customers, especially those engaged in trade and transportation activities, to always have all the relevant documents at hand and in good quality and order.

We recommend carefully checking your business partners; contractors; owners, board members and/or beneficiaries of your business partners; the complete chain of provided and/or received goods and/or services; other entities or factors that are relevant to your economic activity and may pose certain risks. By taking these steps, you can avoid consequences related to reputational, legal and financial risks.

What are dual-use goods and why does Luminor ask me to provide information regarding them?

Dual-use goods are items, including software and technology, which can be used for both civil and military purposes. The primary responsibility for the classification of goods and technologies lies with the customers sending or receiving such items.

Luminor asks customers to provide respective documents and explanations, because usually when restrictions on dual-use goods are imposed, the related technical and financial assistance as well as other services are also prohibited.

The prohibition on dual-use goods means that in general Luminor cannot participate in any financial transactions, provide business support or any financial support to customers that sell, supply, transfer, mediate or export such goods to restricted countries/regions, e.g. Russia, and to the certain listed subjects, unless a national competent authority has issued an authorisation. Therefore, Luminor could conduct additional investigations on related transactions and the execution of the payment order may take longer.

Where can I find information about whether my business partner is sanctioned?

Please refer to the following sanctions lists:

Please note that the lists of sanctions that financial institutions are subject to may vary according to the countries in which they operate. To fully check for sanctions, you must also check the owners, beneficial owners, board members and other persons in direct or indirect control or those who may have at least 50% ownership of legal entities.

It is important to understand that if a person is included in a sanctions list, it does not necessarily mean that no activities can be carried out with such a person. First, it should be assessed what is the extent of the restrictions imposed on a particular person, country or sector and what actions are prohibited. Therefore, in each case, it is very important to understand what a particular sanction is prohibiting and only then to decide on the next steps.

Note that there is no list of persons subject to sectoral or territorial sanctions and these can only be identified based on information on the client (industry, location, etc.).

In Case Of Information Denied or False Information Submitted
If a customer refuses to provide the Bank with the required information about the source of funds or other property (or any other additional data), the Bank is forbidden to conclude a financial transaction and may terminate the deals or business relations with the customer.