Launch of ICBC clearing services in Luxembourg
Following the designation of ICBC Luxembourg as the renminbi clearing bank in Luxembourg in September 2014, ICBC officially launched its clearing services today.
RMB payments can now be cleared directly via ICBC Luxembourg, improving the cost efficiency and speed of transactions. The People’s Bank of China, who has already paved the way for clearing services out of Luxembourg through a MoU signed with the Luxembourg Central Bank in June, now enables the clearing bank to benefit from onshore RMB liquidity, as well as its payment facilities.
According to ICBC, several Luxembourg institutions like Clearstream and BNP Paribas Securities Services have already opted to use their clearing services, as well as a number of other European institutions outside of Luxembourg.
Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Minister of Finance said:
“We welcome the launch of ICBC’s clearing services in Luxembourg. Luxembourg ranks second after Singapore in offshore RMB payments, making it the most important RMB payments centre in Europe. Luxembourg is a crucial driver of offshore RMB payments, actively helping to transform the renminbi from a trade into an investment currency”.
According to Swift statistics, RMB payments in Luxembourg increased by 517% between September 2013 and 2014. The Chinese currency now accounts for 1.72% of global payments and is the 7th most used currency worldwide.
Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna adds:
“Luxembourg now is the leading European RMB centre when it comes to payments in RMB, deposits and loans in RMB, RMB investment funds and listing of Dim Sum bonds. The launch of the clearing services will further enhance our position on the international stage”.
 Excluding payment flows sent and received via China and Hong Kong.