UK set for bumper year for RMB trading

Record amounts of RMB are now being traded daily in the UK, according to a report published today (11 November).

The 5th edition of the London RMB Business Quarterly reveals that an average of £85 billion of the Chinese currency was traded on a daily basis in the second quarter of 2019, up nearly 10 percent on quarter one and over 20 percent higher year-on-year.

Additional data in the report points to another record-breaking year for growth of the RMB in the UK. Between June to August 2019, the average daily clearing volume by the UK designed RMB clearing bank (China Construction Bank London Branch) hit 43.97 billion RMB, up 18.4 percent from the last report and helping the bank clear 40 trillion RMB since the process began in June 2014.

RMB cross-border settlement volumes also saw a sharp rise. By the end of August 2019, payments and receipts touched 370 billion RMB, matching the total volume for the whole of 2018.

The industry update in this edition of the report also explores RMB bonds as eligible collateral accepted by the UK market, an important policy outcome of the 10th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD). This development may help relieve the shortage of high-quality liquid assets (HQLA) in the UK market, strengthen the status of London as an offshore RMB hub, and facilitate the opening up of China’s bond market as well as the internationalisation of the RMB.

The London RMB Business Quarterly was launched by the City of London Corporation and People’s Bank of China Representative Office for Europe 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.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said:

“In the face of considerable uncertainty, the fundamentals of London and the UK continue to shine brightly.

“It’s no secret that the UK has long been a world-leader in foreign exchange, clearing more euros than anywhere else in Europe, more rupees than anywhere in India and more dollars than New York.

“Naturally we’ve also grown to become the leading hub for RMB trading, with levels of the Chinese currency going through London far outstripping that of any other financial centre. I look forward to seeing this trend continue long into the future.”

The City of London Corporation has had a dedicated programme of engagement with China for many years, with 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 editors

The 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