June 22, 2023

Yuan Reined In


Yuan Reined In
1 yuan banknote with portrait of Chairman Mao. Rob Jervis, Unsplash.

Clients of the Russian banks Modulbank, Akibank, Unicredit, and Finam face restrictions on yuan transfers to the US, UK, Switzerland, and EU countries from the Bank of China.

Dmitry Lesnov, a Finam representative, told RBC that, since June 13, the bank has limited all fund transfers through correspondent accounts of the Bank of China not just in yuan, but in US dollars, euros, and Hong Kong dollars. Lesnov said that the restrictions aim to mitigate the risk of secondary sanctions on Chinese banks, potentially leading to the closure of their correspondent accounts with US and European banks.

Experts said that yuan transfers to the EU and the US constitute a small portion of total yuan transfers. Yet these transactions could be used by private investors or businesses as an alternative to evade Western sanctions and the disconnection of Russian banks from the SWIFT system.

“The decision was made not by China, but by EU and US parties. Thus, they are trying to exercise pressure through sanctions by blocking alternative channels in the form of yuan,” said Pavel Semenov, Chairman of the Board of Modulbank.
 

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