Yellen says larger Chinese banks wary of violating US sanctions on Russia

By Thomson Reuters Jun 13, 2024 | 1:47 PM

By Michael S. Derby and Lananh Nguyen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that she believes the largest Chinese banks are mindful of U.S. sanctions against Russia and do not want to violate them, but added the U.S. will not rule out taking action if it deems it necessary.

“I think that the largest financial institutions in China have been trying to comply and have a very strong motive not to be designated,” as sanctions violators, Yellen told reporters after remarks following a speech at the Economic Club of New York.

“I’m certainty not going to say that we would not be willing to designate a large bank if we saw systematic violations,” Yellen said, adding: “The largest banks in China really, really value their correspondent banking relations.”

Yellen also told reporters that the latest round of sanctions on Russia, which are designed to put “sand in the gears” for that nation, are unlikely to cause unexpected problems.

“We’ve been in contact with our partners about this,” Yellen said of the impact of the new sanctions. “We have pre-informed our allies about it. We investigated what the consequences there might be and I think we believe it’s workable.”

(Reporting by Michael S. Derby and Lananh Nguyen; editing by Diane Craft and Chizu Nomiyama)