London retains its RMB crown in face of Brexit uncertainty

A report published today by the City of London Corporation and the People’s Bank of China Europe Representative Office shows that London continues to thrive as an offshore Renminbi (RMB) hub. 

The 3rd London RMB Business Quarterly reveals that the average daily trading volume of the Chinese currency in London in Q4 2018 was £76.6 billion, up 45% year-on-year.Cross-border receipts and payments between China and the UK also saw growth, hitting approximately 29.9 billion RMB in February 2019, up around 50% on the same month in 2018.

The figures follow a near 110% rise in cross-border transactions as a whole between both countries in 2018.The latest edition of the London RMB Business Quarterly also contains detailed analysis of the onshore and offshore RMB markets, with the London Stock Exchange Group discussing London’s Dim Sum bond market.

In February 2019 three RMB-denominated bonds were listed, bringing the total number to 113, worth some 32 billion RMB. The listings come in the wake of a bumper year for Dim Sum bonds in 2018, with more than 30 issuances throughout the whole of last year.

China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS), National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors (NAFMII), China Central Depository & Clearing (CCDC), Shanghai Clearing House (SCCH) and Standard Chartered Bank have produced an in-depth overview of China’s onshore bond market. It shows the composition of outstanding bonds and bond types of China’s near 87 trillion RMB market, as well as developments on tax and access to foreign investment.

City of London Corporation Policy Chair, Catherine McGuinness said:

“This report, which comes amidst unprecedented uncertainty in the UK economy, shows that the fundamentals of London remain strong, particularly in terms of foreign exchange.

“With trading volumes of RMB beating those of the pound against the euro late last year in London, it is obvious that investor appetite for the currency remains strong in the UK.

“As I prepare to attend the second Belt and Road forum in Beijing later this month, I will again be reminding our friends in China that the City of London Corporation remains committed to the internationalisation of the RMB.”

Chief Representative of the People’s Bank of China’s Representative Office for Europe, Jin Mei said:

“China's bond market is one of the world's three largest. It continues to grow at pace and is expected to become the second biggest after the United States shortly.

“Over the past few years, various departments of regulatory authorities in China have made amendments on policies and regulations including investment channels, tax, accounting principles, foreign exchange and risk management, to provide easy access to foreign investors and issuers.

“The PBoC will continue the efforts to improve investment and trading mechanism, to accelerate the opening-up of the bond market, and to provide a user-friendly market environment for overseas participants.”

The first London RMB Business Quarterly was launched by the City of London Corporation and People’s Bank of China Europe Representative Office in September 2018. Backed by HM Treasury, publication marked a continuation of the City Corporation’s influential Renminbi business initiative, a campaign which ran from 2012 to 2015 that helped London become the leading offshore RMB trading hub outside of Asia.

The aim of the reports, which are published every quarter, is to help cement London’s position as an RMB hub, by encouraging the issuance of more RMB denominated products and transactions in the City.

The City of London Corporation had a dedicated programme of engagement with China for many years, and has had representative offices in Beijing and Shanghai since 2008. There are more than 30 Chinese institutions in the City and more are in the process of opening a representative office.


Notes to editorsThe City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

For more information contact:

Nathan Rodgers, Media Officer for Asia

City of London Corporation

44 (0)207 332 3451

44(0)7864 625086