10 September 2013

The Internationalisation of the RMB: New Starts, Jumps and Tipping Points

We investigate the process of currency internationalisation by determining the pace of internationalisation of the Chinese Renminbi (RMB). In contrast to other published work that relies upon international banking, trade and currency statistics, we utilise aggregated cross-border data provided by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT). This data allows better measurement of the role played by a currency in international trade and capital account settlement.

RMB transactions in these areas have expanded significantly in recent years, although they remain concentrated in the financial centres of Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Taipei, where language and culture offer clear advantages. Recent RMB cross-border activity in London and New York shows that there is the potential to shift activity beyond the Asia-Pacific region, although the limited scope of RMB transactions highlights the underdevelopment of China’s domestic financial markets and the limited nature of cross-border transactions outside trade settlement and foreign exchange trading.
Our analysis shows that the footprint of Chinese corporations in international markets has at times been significant, with the size of these transactions prompting many to reassess the likely pace of RMB internationalisation. However, on-balance, China’s path to RMB internationalisation remains slow and runs the risk of failing to fully capitalise upon the opportunities that are now unfolding as the international economic and political landscape shifts more towards its favour.

by Jonathan Batten and Peter Szilagyi

Download (1.42MB)

Call for Proposals

Current call for proposal submission window is closed. Stay tuned as another opportunity will be posted soon.

Annual Report 2017

The SWIFT Institute Annual Report 2017 is now available.



The SWIFT Institute issues calls for research proposals on specific themes or topics on an on-going basis. Submissions are reviewed by the Advisory Council, and grants are awarded to support approved research proposals.
Proposals from prospective researchers must include a cover letter, CV, details of research experience, examples of published work, references, idea for research, methodology to be used, timeframe for completion, and expected output (e.g. working paper, presentation). Proposals should only be submitted in response to an issued Call for Proposal.
Once a sponsored research paper is ready to be published, the SWIFT Institute will publish it on its website as well as the academic journal repository SSRN. The SWIFT Institute will issue a press release on the paper and may even feature the newly published research in its quarterly newsletter. After the SWIFT Institute publishes the research, the research and its content belong to the researcher to publish, giving credit to the support given by the SWIFT Institute.

Submit your paper

If you have a paper that is of relevance to the financial industry and you would like it to be considered for publication on the SWIFT Institute website, please send us your request by using our Contact Form.

Contact Us