Agricultural Bank of China Expands Trials for Integrated Domestic and Foreign Currency Settlement Accounts

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One of China’s big state-owned lenders is expanding trials for bank settlement accounts that permit the combined the use of both the Chinese yuan and multiple foreign currencies.

On 12 December Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) further expanded trials for its domestic-foreign currency integrated bank settlement account system (本外币合一银行结算账户体系) to branches of the bank situated in cities and provinces including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Shandong, Ningbo and Xiong’an New District.

Trials for ABC’s combined currency settlement account system first kicked off in July 2021, at the bank’s branches in the Guangdong province capital of Guangzhou and the Zhejiang province capital of Hangzhou.

According to ABC, the trials enable enterprises that engage in cross-border transactions to use a single account number for settlement in multiple currencies. This in turn permits enterprises to choose preferable currencies for remittances based on exchange rate shift, in order to “greatly maximise the convenience of funds interactions with offshore clients.”

ABC said that trials for domestic-foreign currency combined accounts are a “major measure” for throughly implementing the deepening of financial reforms as outlined by the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee and China’s State Council, and have major significance for servicing the real economy and optimisation of the commercial environment.