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Key Chinese settlement bank for Russian importers suspends operations with Russia and Belarus

Source: Meduza

China’s Chouzhou Commercial Bank has notified its clients that it is suspending operations with Russia, the Russian business daily Vedomosti reported on Wednesday, citing financial consultants and businessmen who work with the bank.

The newspaper noted that Chouzhou Commercial has been the leading settlement bank for Russian importers working with China.

According to Vedomosti’s sources, the bank told clients last week that it is terminating operations with all Russian and Belarusian organizations. “We’ve already had several deals go through because of this,” said one business owner.

A businessman from the Russian city of Izhevsk told the newspaper that in December, Chouzhou Commercial Bank notified him that it would no longer process payments for a specific list of goods whose export to Russia is banned by Western sanctions. A few weeks later, he said, the bank told him it was terminating settlements with Russian companies completely.

The sources also told Vedomosti that other Chinese banks have tightened their rules for working with Russian clients. For example, some banks have begun requiring confirmation that buyers of goods have not had contact with sanctioned individuals or companies and that the goods will not be used for defense purposes or sent to annexed Crimea.

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