ECB orders halt in payments by Latvian bank ABLV

Latvia's financial regulator has ordered the crisis-struck ABLV Bank to cease all payments on the request of the European Central Bank amid U.S. accusations of money laundering and breaching sanctions on North Korea.

The ECB said Monday that the Financial and Capital Markets Commission of Latvia has imposed "a prohibition of all payments by ABLV Bank on its financial liabilities" until further notice.

The ECB noted that ABLV has seen a sharp deterioration of its financial position in recent days

Latvia's central bank said separately that it would loan ABLV 97.5 million euros ($121 million) against "a reliable pledge of highly liquid securities" instead of 480 million euros ABLV had requested.

ABLV is Latvia's third largest bank by assets.