Singapore Now Behind U.K. as RMB Hub

Chinese RMB

Chinese RMB

Offshore RMB clearing centres are driving greater use of the Chinese currency in global trade, and countries such as the United Kingdom, are now reaping the benefits.

According to the latest SWIFT RMB tracker, the United Kingdom’s RMB payments value increased by 21 percent between March 2014 and March 2016. Positioning the United Kingdom as the first offshore RMB clearing centre after Hong Kong.

SWIFT is the global member-owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services.

Singapore overtook the United Kingdom in February 2014, but the trend started to reverse as of January 2016. Hong Kong still remains the world’s largest offshore RMB centre, processing almost 73 percent of all RMB payments, followed by United Kingdom with a share of 6.3 percent and Singapore with 4.6 percent.

Most Used in this Corridor

SWIFT data also shows that 40 percent of all payments made between United Kingdom and China/Hong Kong are exchanged in RMB. The Chinese currency is by far the most used in this corridor, followed by the Hong Kong dollar (24 percent) and the British pound (12 percent).

«Since the China Construction Bank (London branch) became a clearing bank in the United Kingdom in June 2014, there has been a steady growth of RMB payments between the United Kingdom and China/Hong Kong,» says Stephen Gilderdale, Managing Director, UK, Ireland & Nordics at SWIFT.

Growing Chinese Influence 

In March 2016, the RMB remained stable in its position as the fifth most active currency for global payments. Overall, RMB payments value increased by 18.4 percent compared to February 2016, whilst in general all payments currencies increased by 10.6 percent.

SWIFT is the global member-owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services.

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