Banking Industry Agrees Offshore Yuan Processing Guidelines

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The FINANCIAL — The international banking community has agreed a set of guidelines to ensure efficient processing of offshore Chinese yuan transactions, financial messaging network Swift said Monday.


According to Borsa Italiana – London Stock Exchange Group, facilitated by Swift, the agreement was reached in two months between 24 institutions with businesses in Hong Kong which actively settle offshore yuan payments. The new guidelines standardize financial payments messaging between counterparties, requiring them to differentiate between onshore and offshore yuan payments.

Over 80% of yuan payments are made in Hong Kong and the volume of global payments denominated in Chinese yuan has surged during the last 18 months. While Swift doesn't elaborate on volume amounts, in November alone 1085 financial institutions in 95 countries handled transactions denominated in yuan. Growth in such payments has doubled in the Middle East and increased ten-fold during that time in South Africa.

In relative terms though, the yuan remains the world's number 17 currency, representing just 0.29% of the total value of global payments.

HSBC Holdings PLC, JP Morgan Chase & Co and Standard Chartered PLC were among the global institutions involved in the new guidelines, Swift said. Trade associations, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association were also involved in the agreement.



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