RMB's struggle to strengthen in 2017
February 2, 2018

SWIFT's latest RMB Tracker reveals a mixed year for the Chinese currency's growth in 2017 and identifies some of the critical factors for success in 2018.

Despite the growing importance of China in the global economy and the various strategic measures put in place to support its currency, SWIFT's report shows that RMB usage accounted for 1.61 percent of domestic and cross-border payments in December 2017.

Hong Kong remains the largest RMB clearing centre with 76 percent activity share, while London remains the largest clearing centre outside of Greater China. However, its share of global RMB clearing activity decreased from 6.51 percent in 2016 to 5.59 percent in 2017.

The currency is, nevertheless, showing promising signs as it gains pace on digital platforms. Mobile services that expanded usage of the RMB, such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, as well as international initiatives such as SWIFT gpi, continued to grow rapidly throughout the year. Twenty-two Chinese banks have now adopted gpi, helping make RMB payments faster, more transparent and fully traceable.

In addition, the prominent role of the CNY/USD pair remained unchanged: 97.08 percent of RMB trading by value is against the USD and there is no substantial liquidity in any other RMB pair.

SWIFT's RMB Tracker presents a monthly ranking and weighting of the RMB compared to other currencies worldwide. This special edition presents a broader analysis of usage in 2017 and initiatives, projects and trends impacting RMB internationalization.

According to the report, some of the major trends impacting internationalization in 2018, will include:

The emergence of a cashless society mainly driven by digital giants Alipay and WeChat Pay;

Expanded trade links between Asia, Africa and Europe through China's Belt and Road Initiative;

Continued globalization of Chinese banks and their adoption of the SWIFT gpi service.

"The RMB has had a difficult year in 2017 and struggled to realise its potential for growth," said Michael Moon, Head of payments Markets, APAC at SWIFT. "Experts suggest that capital controls and uncertainties over future regulations mean that a significant reversal of the decline in RMB usage for trade and payments is unlikely in 2018. However, there are promising programmes being put in place that could lead to growth over the longer term. Initiatives, such as SWIFT gpi strongly support RMB internationalization as it is rapidly picking up pace in China. As of today, 22 Chinese banks have joined the initiative and China-US is the main corridor for payments on gpi, confirming the rapid pace of adoption. SWIFT gpi allows for payments to be settled in minutes around the world, ensuring China remains one of the world's most attractive and economically competitive places to do business."





This site, like many others, uses small files called cookies to customize your experience. Cookies appear to be blocked on this browser. Please consider allowing cookies so that you can enjoy more content across globalcustody.net.

How do I enable cookies in my browser?

Internet Explorer
1. Click the Tools button (or press ALT and T on the keyboard), and then click Internet Options.
2. Click the Privacy tab
3. Move the slider away from 'Block all cookies' to a setting you're comfortable with.

Firefox
1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu and select Options...
2. Select the Privacy panel.
3. Set Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history.
4. Make sure Accept cookies from sites is selected.

Safari Browser
1. Click Safari icon in Menu Bar
2. Click Preferences (gear icon)
3. Click Security icon
4. Accept cookies: select Radio button "only from sites I visit"

Chrome
1. Click the menu icon to the right of the address bar (looks like 3 lines)
2. Click Settings
3. Click the "Show advanced settings" tab at the bottom
4. Click the "Content settings..." button in the Privacy section
5. At the top under Cookies make sure it is set to "Allow local data to be set (recommended)"

Opera
1. Click the red O button in the upper left hand corner
2. Select Settings -> Preferences
3. Select the Advanced Tab
4. Select Cookies in the list on the left side
5. Set it to "Accept cookies" or "Accept cookies only from the sites I visit"
6. Click OK

SWIFT's latest RMB Tracker reveals a mixed year for the Chinese currency's growth in 2017 and identifies some of the critical factors for success in 2018.

Despite the growing importance of China in the global economy and the various strategic measures put in place to support its currency, SWIFT's report shows that RMB usage accounted for 1.61 percent of domestic and cross-border payments in December 2017.

Hong Kong remains the largest RMB clearing centre with 76 percent activity share, while London remains the largest clearing centre outside of Greater China. However, its share of global RMB clearing activity decreased from 6.51 percent in 2016 to 5.59 percent in 2017.

The currency is, nevertheless, showing promising signs as it gains pace on digital platforms. Mobile services that expanded usage of the RMB, such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, as well as international initiatives such as SWIFT gpi, continued to grow rapidly throughout the year. Twenty-two Chinese banks have now adopted gpi, helping make RMB payments faster, more transparent and fully traceable.

In addition, the prominent role of the CNY/USD pair remained unchanged: 97.08 percent of RMB trading by value is against the USD and there is no substantial liquidity in any other RMB pair.

SWIFT's RMB Tracker presents a monthly ranking and weighting of the RMB compared to other currencies worldwide. This special edition presents a broader analysis of usage in 2017 and initiatives, projects and trends impacting RMB internationalization.

According to the report, some of the major trends impacting internationalization in 2018, will include:

The emergence of a cashless society mainly driven by digital giants Alipay and WeChat Pay;

Expanded trade links between Asia, Africa and Europe through China's Belt and Road Initiative;

Continued globalization of Chinese banks and their adoption of the SWIFT gpi service.

"The RMB has had a difficult year in 2017 and struggled to realise its potential for growth," said Michael Moon, Head of payments Markets, APAC at SWIFT. "Experts suggest that capital controls and uncertainties over future regulations mean that a significant reversal of the decline in RMB usage for trade and payments is unlikely in 2018. However, there are promising programmes being put in place that could lead to growth over the longer term. Initiatives, such as SWIFT gpi strongly support RMB internationalization as it is rapidly picking up pace in China. As of today, 22 Chinese banks have joined the initiative and China-US is the main corridor for payments on gpi, confirming the rapid pace of adoption. SWIFT gpi allows for payments to be settled in minutes around the world, ensuring China remains one of the world's most attractive and economically competitive places to do business."



Free subscription - selected news and optional newsletter
Premium subscription
  • All latest news
  • Latest special reports
  • Your choice of newsletter timing and topics
Full-access magazine subscription
  • 7-year archive of news
  • All past special reports
  • Newsletter with your choice of timing and topics
  • Access to more content across the site