BEIJING/HONG KONG, Sept 21 (Reuters) - China’s central bank has told banks to stop providing financial services to new North Korean customers and to wind down existing loans with North Korean customers, according to a document, four sources told Reuters.
The document asked banks to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea and warned of economic losses and reputational risks to banks that did not do so. Chinese banks received the document on Monday, the sources said.
“At present, management of North Korea-related business has become an issue of national-level politics and national security,” according to the document viewed by Reuters.
The document directed banks to explain to any North Korean customers that “our bank is fulfilling our international obligations and implementing United Nations sanctions against North Korea. As such, we refuse to handle any business connected to North Korea.”
Tensions between the United States and North Korea have ratcheted up after the sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang on Sept. 3 prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose further sanctions last week.
Reporting by the Beijing and Hong Kong newsrooms; Writing by Sue-Lin Wong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong