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Yahoo BusinessAug 12, 2020
China Banks Act to Comply With Trump Sanctions on Hong Kong
(Bloomberg) -- China's largest state-run banks operating in Hong Kong are taking tentative steps to comply with U.S. sanctions imposed on officials in the city, seeking to safeguard their access to crucial dollar funding and overseas networks.Major lenders with operations in the U.S. including Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp., and China Merchants Bank Co. have turned cautious on opening new accounts for the 11 sanctioned officials, including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, according to people familiar with the matter. At least one bank has suspended such activity.At some lenders transactions via the U.S. are banned, while compliance must now review and sign off on others that would previously have been immediately processed, the people said.Foreign lenders like Citigroup Inc. have taken steps to suspend accounts or are increasing scrutiny of Hong Kong clients.Such measures underscore the ability of the U.S. to use the greenback's dominance in international transactions as a pressure point in the intensifying standoff with China. China's state-owned lenders need to preserve their access to global financial markets, particularly at a time when Beijing is leaning on them to prop up the economy from the fallout of the coronavirus.China's four largest banks had $1.1 trillion in dollar funding at the end of 2019, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the nation's central bank, said at a forum this week that China faces a series of threat from a potential financial
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