Swiss banks to focus on Chinese yuan trading: banker

Swiss banks want to become important traders of financial products and services based on the Chinese yuan, a sector association leader said Wednesday.

The banks "would like to be the second main centre (overseas for yuan trading) after London," Swiss Banking Association head Claude-Alain Margelisch told reporters in Geneva.

Pointing out that Britain is currently home to the most active foreign trading of the yuan, Margelisch said that a delegation from his organisation had recently travelled to China to secure access to such financial operations and had received "positive signals" from Beijing.

"The Chinese authorities indicated that there was no need for a formal agreement on their part to be active in the market... We are going to study the market right away," he said.

While no formal agreement was needed with China's central bank, Margelisch noted that if they wanted to trade yuan, Swiss banks would need a robust banking presence in Hong Kong, the main trading hub for China's currency.

He forecast that the yuan would play "an increasingly important role in international trade over the coming years."

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