On March 22 (Moscow local time), witnessed by the representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Russia and the Central Bank of Russian Federation, ICBC announced the official launch of RMB clearing bank in Moscow. Earlier, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) officially authorized ICBC Moscow as the RMB clearing bank in Russia on September 23, 2016.
ICBC Vice President Hu Hao said in the opening ceremony that with deepening strategic partnership between China and Russia in recent years, it is ripe for China and Russia to strengthen currency cooperation. At the end of 2015, the Central Bank of Russia announced that the RMB will be included in the country’s foreign exchange reserve, making RMB an officially recognized reserve currency in Russia. During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China in June 2016, the PBOC and the Russian Central Bank signed a memorandum of cooperation on the launch of RMB clearing arrangements in Russia. The official launch of RMB clearing bank service in Russia will further facilitate the use of RMB in the Sino-Russian trade and investment and promote Sino-Russian cooperation in trade, investment and finance.
ICBC Moscow was established in October 2007 and is currently the Chinese commercial bank with the largest assets in Russia and the only Chinese bank with institutions in two major economic centers - Moscow and St. Petersburg. It has complete license for Russian securities market business. In recent years, ICBC Moscow has seized the strategic opportunities arising from RMB cross-border use to expand RMB business and create an extensive RMB product line including RMB deposit, loan, exchange, cross-border settlement, trade financing, offshore market fund transaction to meet Russian customers’ demand for RMB financial services. Upon the launch of the RMB clearing bank, ICBC Moscow will, under the guidance of both governments and central banks, further leverage ICBC’s strength in the RMB related business and perform duties and obligations as the RMB clearing bank,to provide customers with safe, quality and convenient RMB clearing services.
ICBC is currently the world’s largest RMB bank with total RMB assets and settlement business volume ranking the first in the world. In terms of IT system, ICBC has connected its world-wide banking institutions to achieve real-time arrival of remittance and transfer through the integrated real-time clearing system of remittance, settlement and clearing as well as the centralized clearing model for local and foreign currency. Regarding the global network, ICBC’s overseas operation network has currently covered 42 countries and territories. ICBC also serves as the RMB clearing bank in Singapore, Luxembourg, Qatar, Canada, Thailand, Argentina and Russia, becoming the world’s first commercial bank to provide 24-hour uninterrupted RMB clearing and transaction services.