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Foreign Exchange

RBS follows HSBC to form London-based China markets desk

RBS has launched a dedicated China desk in London, to assist Chinese companies wishing to expand their business internationally as well as help UK and European companies do more business with mainland China, the company said in a statement.

The desk, which offers services in cash management, transaction banking, FX and fixed income, will be led by Janet Ming, who has been relocated from Shanghai, where she was most recently head of corporate sales for RBS China. “Few Chinese banks have the network or capabilities to serve their clients who wish to expand internationally,” says Ming. “Research tells us that Chinese corporates are more comfortable if there is dedicated coverage in their destination market.”

Ming says she expects the London China desk to be first of several overseas China desks located in other key financial centres, such as New York and Dubai.

The UK bank said establishing a London-based China desk was part of its ambition to be a leading player in the offshore RMB market, having ranked fourth by deal value in CNH bond issuance in 2011.

RBS, like other UK banks, will be aiming to capitalise on Chancellor George Osborne’s agreement with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in January to form a new private sector forum with a view to accelerating London’s development as a leading offshore renminbi trading centre.

“The largest Chinese banks have already expanded their presence in London which means that there will be huge Chinese investment coming into Europe through London,” said Ming. “This offers a fantastic opportunity for the city to become a major offshore RMB hub as more and more Chinese companies have a presence in London as a gateway to Europe.”

The move follows also HSBC’s appointment of Paul Gooding in London to lead the bank’s efforts in European RMB business strategy and development. HSBC’s London-based operation will complements the bank’s existing Asia-Pacific RMB business development team in Hong Kong, led by Candy Ho and Thomas Poon.

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