More Banks Use Renminbi for Payments

The steady growth in renminbi (RMB) payments has seen the number of banks using the Chinese currency for payments with Hong Kong surpass 1,000, reports Swift

The financial messaging services provider says its data shows that in May 2015 a total of 1,081 financial institutions (FIs) used the RMB for payments with China and Hong Kong, representing 35% of all institutions exchanging payments with the latter across all currencies. This is a 22% increase in the number of institutions using the RMB and a 6% increase in adoption, up from 29% two years ago.

Last month, RMB adoption for payments by FIs in Asia Pacific increased to 37% from 33% in May 2013. During the same time period, the Americas experienced even stronger growth with FIs increasing their use of the RMB for payments by 10%, leading to 37% adoption. Europe follows closely with 33% adoption and Africa – Middle East with 28%.

“Every month we witness new proof of global RMB adoption”, says Michael Moon, head of payments, Asia Pacific, Swift. “The number of banks that use RMB for payments with China and Hong Kong is a key internationalisation indicator.

“This large number also shows that many banks, across the globe, may have an interest in connectivity to the China International Payment System [CIPS] that China will launch by end of the year”.

Overall, the RMB strengthened its position as the fifth most active currency for global payments in value and accounted for 2.18% of payments worldwide in May. Although all currencies decreased in value by 3.1%, RMB payments increased in value by 1.99% compared to April 2015 which leads to its record high share in global payments.

“SWIFT’s data makes it clear that RMB is becoming increasingly central to the business banks do with China and Hong Kong,” said Surendra Rosha, HSBC’s designate head of financial institutions group for Asia-Pacific.

“As opportunities grow for banks’ clients to use RMB in trade with China and to invest in its markets, we would expect FI’s use of the currency to carry on increasing.”


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