REYKJAVIK – European and Chinese officials have made two notable announcements in recent weeks. On June 18, China’s second largest financial institution, China Construction Bank, was designated as the official renminbi clearing bank for London. The next day, the Frankfurt branch of the Bank of China, the country’s largest commercial bank, received the same designation for the eurozone.
Both announcements were greeted with great acclaim. British Chancellor George Osborne hailed the creation of a London clearing bank as “hugely important” for the financial future of the City. Joachim Nagel of the German Bundesbank lauded the Bank of China announcement as a “milestone on the road toward creating a renminbi trading center in Frankfurt.”