BEIJING – Three Chinese banks have denied that they were involved in any investigation related to possible violations of North Korea sanctions after a report about the probe sent their stocks down Tuesday.
The Washington Post reported on Monday that three Chinese lenders were found by a United States judge to be in contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas in an investigation into North Korea sanction violations, a decision which could cut off their access to the US financial system.
The three banks were not identified by the judge, but the report said details in the court ruling align with a 2017 civil forfeiture action against three Chinese banks – Bank of Communications, China Merchants Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.
Shares of China Merchants Bank traded in Hong Kong tumbled nearly 10 percent Tuesday before recovering some of their losses in the afternoon, after it denied it was being investigated.
The Shenzhen-based lender said it a statement that it complies with related United Nations resolutions and Chinese laws.
Bank of Communications, a state-owned lender, said in a statement that a US court had asked Chinese banks to hand over information about their clients outside of the US and said the request is a matter of legal assistance and should be carried out under the auspices of a legal assistance pact signed between the US and China.
After it released a statement, stocks of the state bank recovered and ended 3 percent lower on Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, when asked to comment on the report, said it couldn’t provide clients’ information to overseas authorities without authorization.
The bank’s shares dropped 3.1 percent in Tuesday’s trading, recovering from a 4 percent loss earlier in the day.