ICBC Leads Chinese Lenders in Affirming North Korea Restrictions

China’s two biggest banks said they’re complying with international efforts to isolate North Korean financial institutions that support the country’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank doesn’t have an account with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., a press officer for China’s largest lender by assets said today, asking not to be identified due to company policy. China Construction Bank Corp. (939), the second-largest, doesn’t have business relations with any North Korean banks, said a press officer, who asked not to be identified because of company rules . ICBC and CCB are majority-owned by the Chinese government.

China and the U.S. last month set out a joint commitment to end North Korea’s attempt to develop nuclear weapons. The U.S. Treasury department froze American assets of Foreign Trade Bank, the North’s primary foreign exchange lender, in March after the United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed to new sanctions in response to a nuclear weapons test.

China Construction Bank strictly follows Chinese regulations and UN Security Council resolutions, the Beijing-based lender’s press officer said.

Bank of China Ltd., the country’s fourth-largest, said this week it had closed Foreign Trade Bank’s account and ended all fund transfers related to it.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jun Luo in Shanghai at; Nathaniel Espino in Beijing at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at

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