HSBC becomes first international bank allowed to remit yuan to China

The move is one of several indications that internationalisation of the Chinese currency is picking up pace again

HSBC said on Wednesday that it had helped a Chinese national remit yuan from Australia back to mainland China, the first international bank to do so since a rule change in January.

The transaction is an indication that the Chinese authorities have, albeit cautiously, expanded their drive to internationalise the yuan.

Previously, Chinese people living overseas could only send money back to China if it were denominated in other currencies, but this was changed according to a circular from the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank, published on 5 January.

In 2016, China was the second largest remittance recipient after India, receiving US$61 billion, according to the most recently available data from the World Bank.

“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’s Greater China chief executive in a statement, using an abbreviation for the renminbi, another name for the yuan.

In a separate move, the PBOC on Tuesday said in a statement on its website that it had appointed JP Morgan as a yuan clearing bank in the United States, the first non-Chinese bank to have such a role globally.

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