Monday 3 February 2020 12:01 am

London retains crown as top renminbi hub as trading hits record levels

London has retained its position as the leading hub for trading the renminbi outside of greater China, with cross-border trading of the Chinese currency hitting record levels.

Nearly 3 trillion yuan (£328bn) was cleared by the UK’s designated renminbi clearing bank between September and November last year.

This represents a year-on-year increase of almost 23 per cent, according to new figures from the City of London Corporation and European office of the People’s Bank of China. 

Between July and September, an average of over £82bn of renminbi changed hands in the UK everyday, up over four per cent year-on-year.

“I’m pleased that we continue to attract record levels of renminbi trading, clearing and settlement,” said City of London policy chair Catherine McGuiness. 

“The UK leads the world when it comes to foreign exchange and we will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”

The UK launched an effort to boost renminbi trading volumes in London several years ago. When Beijing set out to further “internationalise” its currency, British policymakers saw an opportunity for London to dominate the offshore renminbi market, which it has consistently since 2016.

In the first 11 months of last year, total renminbi cross-border settlement between China and the UK surged 66 per cent year-on-year to around 590 billion yuan, a record figure. 

Between January and November, 41 so-called Dim Sum bonds — bonds issued outside of China but dominated by the renminbi — were newly listed on the London Stock Exchange. 

This takes the total as of the end of November to 109 Dim Sum bonds, with an outstanding value of 34.59 billion yuan, with an average coupon rate of 4.25 per cent. 

“I look forward continuing to celebrate the UK’s role as leading offshore renminbi trading hub outside of greater China for many years to come,” said McGuinness.