Bank of Ireland has become the first Irish bank to allow business customers make payments in Chinese yuan.
Until now, Irish companies have been unable to receive or make payments in this currency. The facility will allow Irish companies to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, the bank said. Irish exports to China have risen by over two-fifths in recent years – from €251m in 2010 to €354m in 2012. This figure is expected to reach around €600m by 2016.
About 200 Irish companies export to China, while 100 Irish companies have a physical presence there.
“China’s share of global trade and investment continues to grow and with financial markets looking increasingly at events in China, we expect that the yuan will ultimately become a major currency – as important as the euro, dollar and sterling,” said Bank of Ireland head of global customer business Kevin Twomey.