BBC Chinese recently reported that the British government signed an RMB Clearing and Settlement Agreement with China. This is the first agreement of its type outside of Asia. It further strengthened London’s position as the primary RMB exchange center in the Western world. After Hong Kong became the first offshore trading center for the Chinese currency (RMB) in 2009, several other cities such as Singapore and Tokyo competed to be the second primary RMB trading market. The Chinese government is trying to make the RMB a key player in the competition to challenge the U.S. dollar as the dominant currency in the global economy. The Bank of England signed a currency exchange agreement with the People’s Bank of China in June last year; that agreement expires in three years.
Source: BBC Chinese, March 26, 2014