LONDON, June 18 China Construction Bank (CCB),
the country's second-largest lender, clinched a deal to become
Britain's first clearing bank for renminbi as London bids to
become the leading Western centre for the offshore yuan trade
As China, the world's second largest economy, promotes the
use of its currency in international trade, London is competing
with Luxembourg, New York, Paris and Frankfurt to become the top
offshore yuan centre in the Western time zone.
London, which dominates the $5-trillion-a-day global foreign
exchange market, accounts for two thirds of all renminbi
payments outside of China and Hong Kong, according to Britain's
finance minister, George Osborne.
"Today's appointment is another major step forward for the
UK as the western hub of Chinese finance," Osborne said in a
statement on Wednesday.
Hong Kong remains by far the largest centre for offshore
yuan deposits. Deposits in Taiwan, Singapore and Macau also
dwarf those in European capitals. New York lags far behind.
Bank of England chief Mark Carney said the clearing deal
would help cross-border use of renminbi (RMB).
"China Construction Bank will play a valuable role in
facilitating greater use of the RMB for trade, investment and
other economic activities in the UK, particularly by providing a
further option for UK firms to clear and settle their RMB
activity within the London market," Carney said.
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)