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China's largest banks stop servicing Russian companies under sanctions

Feb 21, 2024

China's largest banks have stopped accepting payments from Russian financial organizations. These are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Construction Bank (CCB), and Bank of China.

This was reported by the Russian media outlet Kommersant.


ICBC, CCB, and Bank of China are the first, second, and fourth largest banks in China by assets. The banks notified Russian clients that they will stop accepting payments from the beginning of January 2024. It is noted that operations with non-sanctioned credit organizations continue.

According to a source in a Russian bank, ICBC and CCB reject all payments coming from Russian sanctioned financial organizations, regardless of the system through which they go - SWIFT, the Russian SPFS or the Chinese CIPS. It is emphasized that Chinese banks explain their decision by the internal policy of credit organizations.

It is worth noting that China did not impose sanctions on Russia and Russian companies after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. However, many Chinese companies are forced to comply with the sanctions policy of Western countries in order to avoid secondary sanctions and intend to cooperate with the US and EU.

As a reminder, in January, the EU began discussing the 13th package of sanctions against Russia. The restrictions are expected to be approved by the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to Western media, the package will not add new restrictions on imports of Russian products.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 21/02/2024

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