On 12 December 2017, AS Norvik Banka and its controlling shareholders submitted a Request for Arbitration against the Republic of Latvia to the International Centre for the Settlement of International Investment Disputes (ICSID). Mr Guselnikov, a UK investor, acquired the Bank in 2013 and has invested in Latvia in excess of € 100 million, making him one of the most significant individual investors in the country.
ICSID, constituted under the aegis of the World Bank, is the primary forum for settling international investment disputes arising under international law. Following the registration of the Bankʼs Request for Arbitration, an ICSID Tribunal will soon be constituted to hear the Bank and its shareholders claims. The ICSID Tribunal will render its decision on the basis of international law and its final decision will be binding and immediately enforceable.
The Bank and its controlling shareholders have requested arbitration as a result of unfair, arbitrary, improperly motivated and unreasonable regulatory treatment accorded to the Bank by the Latvian authorities, contrary to Latviaʼs obligations under international law. The filing of the Request for Arbitration follows unsuccessful negotiations between the Latvian Government and the Bank, wherein multiple options were proposed by the Bank for mutual agreement not requiring financial outlays. The Bank and its shareholders remain hopeful of reaching a mutually agreeable settlement agreement with the Latvian Government, but have commenced the arbitration in order to protect and enforce their legal rights.
Further details about the dispute remain confidential.
The dispute is of an investment nature, and will not have any impact to the day-to-day operations of the Bank.