MILAN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The Bank of Italy said on Wednesday it had ordered Latvian lender AS PrivatBank to shut down its Italian branch by the end of the year and had forbidden it from starting new operations in the country.
Italy's central bank announced in August it was starting proceedings to shut down AS PrivatBank's local arm after finding breaches of money-laundering regulations following inspections carried out between March 16 and April 6.
The Bank of Italy said AS PrivatBank would not be allowed to carry out any further operations in the country beyond letting clients withdraw savings or transfer them to other banks.
In a statement on its webpage, PrivatBank said the new Board of AS PrivatBank had decided to close down the Italian branch after an "assessment of economic activities of the bank's branch network".
It said it had decided on the suspension of the branch on September 19 and had notified the Bank of Italy.
In a separate statement also on Wednesday the bank said AS PrivatBank would strengthen its fight against money-laundering. (Reporting by Valentina Za and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Adrian Croft)