BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country's central bank, announced on Monday that it had authorized the Bank of China (BOC) as a clearing bank for RMB business in Paris.
The PBOC made the decision in accordance with an MOU signed with the French central bank La Banque de France to help turn the city into an offshore RMB center.
Paris becomes a competitor to become the offshore RMB center in Europe after Frankfurt and London.
BOC became the RMB clearing bank in Frankfurt in June while China Construction Bank was authorized to be the RMB clearing bank in London.
The PBOC is yet to announce the RMB clearing bank in Luxembourg.
A BOC spokesman said the mechanism of RMB clearing business in Paris will help Chinese and French companies and financial institutions to use the yuan for cross-border transactions and facilitate the free trade and investment between the two countries.
BOC has so far opened more than 1,200 inter-bank RMB clearing accounts and 1.7 million RMB accounts for corporate and individual clients overseas.
The bank almost doubled its RMB payment and clearing business from a year ago to 112 trillion yuan (18.23 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, BOC data showed. Its Paris Branch handled more than 1.3 trillion yuan of RMB clearing business last year.