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Renminbi is the second most used currency for cross border payments with China & Hong Kong

SWIFT’s RMB Tracker shows that the RMB is now the second most used currency for cross border payments with China and Hong Kong. In May 2014, 12% of cross border payments with China and Hong Kong were done using the RMB, up 36% from one year ago. The US Dollar remains in the top position, with the Hong Kong Dollar following close behind the RMB for payments to China and Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong has the most-established and largest RMB corridor with mainland China, but as other financial centres, such as London, Singapore and Frankfurt, establish the necessary infrastructure and agreements to support RMB transactions, we will see the RMB grow significantly in these markets,” says, Alain Raes, Chief Executive, Asia Pacific & EMEA, SWIFT.

The latest SWIFT RMB Tracker comes on the heels of two key announcements related to RMB clearing in Europe. On 19 June, China Construction Bank (London branch) was named the clearing bank for offshore RMB in London. On the same day, the Bank of China (Frankfurt branch) became the first institution in the Eurozone allowed to clear payments in the RMB. The Bank of China is also the clearing bank for the RMB in Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei, while the mandate in Singapore belongs to the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

Raes adds, “Creating these hubs in Frankfurt and London to support RMB trading will promote greater use of the currency for global trade and finance across the region. As the use of the RMB grows, we expect more market centres to take notice of the RMB as a world payments currency.”

Overall, the RMB held its position as seventh most used global payments currency and accounted for 1.47% of global payments, up from 1.43% in April 2014. At a global level, all currencies decreased in value by 0.7% in the same month.

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