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Will Europe overtake Asia in RMB trade settlement?

Will Europe overtake Asia in RMB trade settlement?

29 October 2013

Brussels, 29 October 2013 - When RMB trade settlement was opened up in June 2012 for any corporate in the world, adoption was to start regionally in Asia and then expand to Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Africa. That may have been so. Recent SWIFT data however shows that RMB customer payments - a good proxy for trade settlement - in Europe grew by 163% over the last year, much higher than the 109% observed in Asia (excluding China and Hong Kong) in the same period. Growth in Europe was particularly strong in Q3 of this year, bringing Europe in absolute value almost at par with Asia. Growth in the value of RMB customer payments in Asia was mainly driven by Taiwan and Singapore, with adoption remaining relatively low in Australia and Japan.

Patrick de Courcy, Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Markets & Initiatives, Asia Pacific at SWIFT says: "Our business intelligence indicates that China's major trade partners in Europe are now embracing the RMB for trade settlement. It is "game-one" for those banks, as not all are capturing this emerging RMB business to the same extent. Back in Asia, recent initiatives by e.g. the Monetary Authority of Singapore to strengthen China-Singapore financial cooperation may help to increase adoption of offshore RMB by financial institutions in this region."

In September 2013, the RMB remained stable in its position as the #12 payments currency of the world, with an increased market share of 0.86% compared to 0.84% in August 2013. Overall, RMB payments increased in value by 4.6% in September 2013, whilst the growth for all payments currencies was at 1.2%.

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.

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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