Request for a preliminary ruling from the Administratīvā apgabaltiesa (Latvia) lodged on 1 February 2021 – AS ‘PrivatBank’, A, B, Unimain Holdings Limited v Finanšu un kapitāla tirgus komisija

(Case C-78/21)

Language of the case: Latvian

Referring court

Administratīvā apgabaltiesa

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: AS ‘PrivatBank’, A, B, Unimain Holdings Limited

Defendant: Finanšu un kapitāla tirgus komisija

Questions referred

May financial loans and credits and operations in current and deposit accounts with financial institutions (including banks), referred to in Annex 1 to Council Directive 88/361/EEC of 24 June 1988 for the implementation of Article 67 of the [EC] Treaty, 1 also be classed as movements of capital within the meaning of Article 63(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union?

Does a restriction (which does not follow directly from the Member State’s legislation) imposed on a specific credit institution by the competent authority of a Member State, prohibiting the institution from entering into business relationships with persons who are not nationals of the Republic of Latvia and requiring it to terminate any such existing relationships, constitute a measure adopted by a Member State for the purposes of Article 63(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and, as such, amount to a restriction on the principle of free movement of capital between Member States arising from that provision?

Is the restriction on the free movement of capital, which is guaranteed under Article 63(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, justified by the objective of preventing the use of the Union’s financial system for the purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing, which is set out in Article 1 of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC? 2

Is the means chosen by the Member State ― the imposition on a specific credit institution of a prohibition on entering into business relationships with persons who are not nationals of a specific Member State (the Republic of Latvia) and a requirement to terminate any such existing relationships ― appropriate to achieve the objective established in Article 1 of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC, and does it therefore constitute an exception provided for in Article 65(1)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union?

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1 OJ 1988 L 178, p. 5, Special edition in Latvian: Chapter 10 Volume 001 P. 10.

2 OJ 2015 L 141, p. 73.