* Last week China suspended 3 foreign banks from forex business
* Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank hit by the ban -sources
* The ban extends until the end of March
* StanChart has asked China to shorten suspension -source
By Engen Than
SHANGHAI, Jan 6 (Reuters) - 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 $720 million from foreign exchange trading globally in the first half of 2015, according to its half-year financial statement, equivalent to 8.5 percent 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. (Additional reporting by Lawrence White in Hong Kong; Editing by Lisa Jucca and Will Waterman)