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Chinese Renminbi Overtakes the Swiss Franc as a World Payments Currency

Chinese Renminbi Overtakes the Swiss Franc as a World Payments Currency

27 February 2014

Brussels, 27 February 2014 - For the third consecutive month, the Renminbi (RMB) is one of the top ten most-used currencies for payments worldwide. With an activity share of 1.39% in payments value, the RMB now ranks 7th, closely followed by the Swiss Franc at 1.38%.

In January 2014, RMB payments increased by 30.6% while the growth for all payments currencies was at 4.8%. RMB payments are still heavily concentrated in the Hong Kong market with an activity share of 73%. The eight next most active offshore RMB centres (United Kingdom, Singapore, Taiwan, United States, France, Australia, Luxembourg and Germany) together represent 85% of total RMB payments by value (excluding Hong Kong and China).

In January 2014, excluding Hong Kong and China, the RMB offshore weight of the U.S. increased to 7.3 %, up from 4.1% in January 2013. Taiwan experienced a similar jump in weight to 9.0% up from 3.6% during the same period in 2013.

Michael Moon, Director, Payments Markets, Asia Pacific at SWIFT, says: "Looking at the first month of 2014, which was the highest payments value recorded for RMB so far, it is clear that the RMB is on its way to remaining a top ten currency for global payments. Hong Kong continues its role as the leading RMB hub, and we see that the overall expansion of this market allows for strong growth in offshore centres, such as the U.S. and Taiwan. These new offshore markets play a significant role in maintaining the RMB's position as a ‘business as usual' world payments currency."

SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,000 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in 212 countries and territories. SWIFT enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. SWIFT also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.

For more information about SWIFT, please visit or follow us on and LinkedIn: SWIFT

About SWIFT RMB Tracker & RMB Internationalisation
Launched in September 2011, the SWIFT RMB Tracker provides monthly reporting on key statistics to understand the progress made by RMB towards becoming an international currency. To register for the RMB Tracker in English, Traditional or Simplified Chinese, visit (select ‘Banks on SWIFT') or e-mail

For more information about RMB Internationalisation, please visit or join our new ‘Business Intelligence Transaction Banking' LinkedIn group!  

Disclaimer: This report is provided for information only. If the customer or any third party decides to take any course of action or omission based on this report and/or any conclusion contained therein, they shall do so at their own risk and SWIFT shall not be liable for any loss or damage, arising from their acts or omissions based on this report and/or any recommendations contained therein.

Ernest Chan
Head of Media Relations, Asia Pacific
Tel: +852 2107 8873

Bite Communications
Rosemary Merz
Tel: +852 2973 0222