HSBC Becomes First Global Bank to Remit Offshore Renminbi Back to China

Beijing is driving further internationalisation of the renminbi, with HSBC emerging as the first international bank to remit the currency back to China from abroad.

HSBC announced on Wednesday that it had become the first international bank to remit offshore yuan back to China, after assisting a Chinese national to transfer funds from Australia.

The People’s Bank of China implemented a rule change on January 5 that permitted the transfer, as part of renewed efforts to internationalise the yuan.

Prior to the rule change Chinese nationals abroad could only remit money back home in other currencies.

“By opening up cross-border RMB transactions to individuals, China is adding new impetus to the international use of its currency,” said Helen Wong, HSBC Greater China chief executive in a statement.

China’s central bank has long pushed for greater internationalisation of the renminbi under the lead of governor Zhou Xiaochuan.

These efforts have encountered considerable setback since 2015, with Beijing stepping up capital controls due to concerns over fund outflows and the foreign buying spree of cash-flush Chinese companies.

Analysts expect internationalisation of the yuan to make a return to the policy agenda in 2018, with a greater emphasis on monetary inflows.

In a related development PBOC announced on Tuesday via its official website that it had appointed JP Morgan as a clearing bank for the renminbi in the United States, making it the first foreign bank to assume the role globally.

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