RMB Products and Services in London Register Substantial Growth

Published on 2014-12-17

A new report published by the City of London Corporation has shown that London’s RMB business volumes have continued to grow during the first half of 2014 as the international use of the Chinese currency has increased.

A new report, published by the City of London Corporation on 15 December 2014, has shown that London’s RMB business volumes have continued to grow during the first half of 2014 as the international use of the Chinese currency has increased. The report further demonstrates that the appetite for a broad range of RMB denominated products and services has grown.

The report also reviews further developments in the global offshore RMB market including the designation of RMB clearing banks and high profile new bond issuances, such as the first sovereign RMB bond issuance outside of China by the UK Government. It shows that a high level of activity from the authorities and productive engagement by businesses have further facilitated the development of the offshore RMB market. London, in particular, enjoyed substantial growth across all three principal RMB product categories: trade-related services, forex and deposits.

Key findings show:

  • London’s strength as the world leading forex centre was demonstrated by the rapid growth of RMB forex trading (both deliverable and non-deliverable) in the first half of 2014, which increased by 116%, compared with the second half of 2013 to reach US$54,651 billion. The relative shift in trading from non-deliverable products to deliverable products has continued, signalling the gradual liberalisation of the RMB.
  • From January to June 2014, RMB dominated trade finance rose 79% to a total of ¥26.5 billion, from levels observed in the second half of 2013. Surveyed banks reported that a growing number of importers and exporters from China were making trade payments in RMB, while volumes of letters of credit were slowly declining, in favour of alternative methods of trade finance.
  • Total deposits in London have increased to ¥25.4 billion.

Andrea Leadsom MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister), said:
“RMB business in London continues to go from strength to strength and I am delighted to see the growth in activity reported by the City of London. This highlights the significant progress that has been achieved and shows how London continues to grow and evolve as the world’s most international financial centre.

“The rise of China’s currency is one of the most important developments in international finance for a century. London is a central part of this story, and I am sure that the scope, depth, and flexibility of our financial markets will ensure that London’s position as a leading RMB hub continues to thrive.”

Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said:
“These new figures released demonstrate the progress that has been made in the RMB markets in the UK, which echoes the overall development of the currency which is now the 7th most used world payments currency. This has been driven by market demand, and supported by the Chinese and UK authorities. We believe that further expansion of cross border RMB usage around the world will lead to the eventual goal of the RMB becoming a mainstream global currency for trade and investment.

“The City of London’s RMB initiative will continue to work with both the public and private sectors in China and the UK - as well as other stakeholders globally - to continue to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of RMB products and services, and promote the growth of global RMB business.”

This study is the sixth in a series reporting on London’s RMB trading volumes. Thirteen UK based banks, which are estimated to represent 85% of market activity, provided data and comments. The research is conducted by Bourse Consult and commissioned by the City of London Corporation.

Please click here to download the full report>>