China’s biggest banks have suspended financial transactions for North Koreans

Vastavam web:Branches of China’s biggest banks have suspended financial transactions for North Koreans, employees told AFP, suggesting that Beijing has pursued stronger measures against its nuclear-armed ally than previously thought.Staff at branches in Beijing and the border city of Yanji a major trade and transportation hub between the two neighbours said their banks have banned North Koreans from opening new accounts and some have even started to close existing ones.Employees at several branches of the country’s “big four” Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank confirmed the financial curbs for North Korean clients.
“We have frozen their accounts, which means they cannot withdraw (money),” a staff member at a Yanji branch of China Construction Bank told.An employee at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Yanji said the restrictions began last year or the previous year.”We also won’t open new accounts now. We offer no service to them. Opening accounts or foreign currency operations, we don’t offer such services to them,” the employee said.A staff member at a Beijing branch of China Construction Bank said they received a notice in May, and North Koreans can no longer conduct transactions.
An Agricultural Bank of China employee in Beijing said North Koreans are barred from opening new accounts but those with current accounts can carry out transactions.”Chinese banks restricting financial flows between (China and) North Korea is actually restricting trade on the whole,” Zhang said.