The use of Chinese currency among Australian companies has grown since 2014 and is expected to accelerate further, says HSBC.
According to the 2015 HSBC RMB Internationalism Study, the rise in use of RMB indicates that companies’ attitudes towards business activity with China are changing.
HSBC head of commercial banking James Hogan said: “After announcing a milestone free trade agreement with China and being appointed an offshore RMB clearing centre in November 2014, it’s no surprise that Australian companies are waking up to the importance of incorporating RMB within their broader China strategy.”
“Australian businesses have historically viewed using RMB as an opportunity to gain first-mover advantage, but companies are now adjusting to the idea that RMB is an increasingly mature currency.
“Chinese companies look favourably on foreign partners using their currency, as it reinforces commitment to China,” Mr Hogan added.
The survey found that the majority of corporates in China, and Australian RMB users, believe that foreign companies who use the currency are more likely to experience financial and business relationship advantages.
Currently 13 per cent of Australian companies use RMB for cross-border business, up from 9 per cent in 2014, the study found.
HSBC also reported that 20 per cent of non-RMB users are planning to adopt the currency in the next three years.
The study noted that Australia’s RMB use is higher than all surveyed markets outside of Asia including the UK (10 per cent), France (10 per cent), and Germany (7 per cent) – all of which experienced a noticeable decline in RMB cross-border activity compared to 2014.
HSBC concluded that whilst RMB use is on the rise, 68 per cent of non-users still fail to see any benefits from adopting the currency in cross-border business with China.
“To continue accessing these business and investment opportunities with China, Australian businesses need to be RMB-ready,” said Mr Hogan.
“While progress has been made, Australian businesses cannot remain complacent.”