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Standard Chartered among banks in China forex ban: sources

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Standard Chartered is among three lenders that China's central bank last week suspended from conducting some foreign exchange business until the end of March, two sources with direct knowledge told Reuters on Wednesday.

[SHANGHAI] Standard Chartered is among three lenders that China's central bank last week suspended from conducting some foreign exchange business until the end of March, two sources with direct knowledge told Reuters on Wednesday.

Reuters reported on Dec 30 that China's central bank had suspended Deutsche Bank and two other lenders from conducting some of their foreign exchange business, China's latest bid to stem capital fleeing the country in the face of a weakening yuan.

The notices sent to banks did not give a reason for the suspension, but the sources for that story said their banks might have been targeted due to the large scale of their cross-border forex businesses.

One of the sources for the involvement of Standard Chartered, which is currently in the middle of a global restructuring, said the bank has asked the People's Bank of China to shorten the suspension.

A spokesman for Standard Chartered declined to comment. When contacted by Reuters last week, Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

China's central bank did not respond to requests for comment.

Standard Chartered made US$720 million from foreign exchange trading globally in the first half of 2015, according to its half-year financial statement, equivalent to 8.5 per cent of the lender's total operating income.

Chinese authorities are starting to police the nation's foreign exchange market in a way currency traders have rarely seen before, levying penalty payments for aggressive trading and prompting some banks to turn down business.

REUTERS