RMB products and services in London register substantial growth

RMB products and services in London register substantial growth

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. 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 today 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 today 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.


The report is also available to download here.


Notes to editors

  1. Media enquiriesJulie Zhu, Media Officer, City of London CorporationT 020 7332 3451 / M 07912 041 124E
  2. About the City of London initiativeThe City of London initiative was launched on 18 April 2012. It aims to develop London’s position as the leading western hub for international renminbi (RMB) business - and boost the RMB’s wider international use for trade and investment. The initiative is facilitated by the City of London Corporation, and the current members are Agricultural Bank of China (UK), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), Bank of China (UK), Bank of Communications (UK), Barclays, China Construction Bank (UK), Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (UK), Standard Chartered, JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Scotland, with observers from HM Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Prudential Regulation Authority. The initiative seeks to provide leadership to the wider financial markets on technical, infrastructure and regulatory issues relating to the RMB product and services in London. It also advises HM Treasury on maximising London’s capacity to trade, clear and settle RMB and articulates practical next steps and long-term aims for the further development of the RMB market in London. Additionally, the group advises HM Treasury and other UK authorities on any financial stability concerns members may perceive. More information is at
  3. About the City of London CorporationThe City of London Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation. It supports and promotes the City as the world leader in international finance and business services and provides local services and policing for those working in, living in and visiting the Square Mile. It also provides valued services to London and the nation.
  4. The City of London Corporation and ChinaThe City of London Corporation has long recognised the critical importance of China to the UK-based financial services industry. The rapid growth of the Chinese economy brings a demand for international financial services - both to provide capital, risk management and expertise for companies as they expand - and to meet the needs of its growing middle classes, in areas such as savings products, pensions, insurance and wealth management. An important part of the City of London Corporation’s work is to help UK-based firms to access the Chinese market, and to promote a genuinely two-way exchange of trade and investment in financial and professional services. The City of London Corporation engages with the Chinese leadership, regional governments and with Chinese firms to position the City as China’s partner of choice in the provision of financial services, and the UK as a location of choice for Chinese overseas investments. The City of London Corporation’s engagement with China is guided by the City of London Advisory Council for China, a group of senior Chinese financial sector leaders. The Council provides a formal structure for engagement with Chinese financial services firms at a senior level, and expert guidance and advice on the Chinese market. The Council guides the City of London Corporation’s China strategy, and the work of the City of London representative offices in Beijing and Shanghai. More information is at
  5. About Bourse ConsultBourse Consult LLP, a global financial services consultancy, offers practical advice to exchanges, clearing houses and other market infrastructures, in areas from strategy to detailed execution. Bourse Consult consultants are all experts in their fields, having many years’ experience at the highest levels in the financial services industry. Further details can be found at