NAB extends trade finance capability with China

April 18 2013

National Australia Bank (NAB) has added Renminbi (RMB) as an available currency for Australian businesses who import or export with China to settle their trade transactions.

Daryl Johnson, Executive General Manager, nabbusiness, said: “Australian businesses and Chinese enterprises can reduce costs, gain efficiencies, and improve supplier and buyer relations through the use of RMB as a trading currency.

“With China as Australia’s number one trading partner, taking more than a quarter of Australia’s exports and supplying around 15 per cent of its imports, the trend to RMB is set to increase, creating significant opportunities for Australian businesses.

“We remain committed to supporting our customers to expand into and trade with China. Our focus remains on educating Australian businesses on the benefits of transacting in RMB and the competitive advantages of doing so”.

Settling trade transactions in RMB can widen the number of Chinese companies’ Australian exporters can trade with, help manage foreign exchange risk and create cash flow efficiencies.

China is by far the most popular Asian country that Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) businesses deal with, in particular importers who are bringing in goods for sale in Australia, according to a recent survey of NAB’s SME customers.

Commenting on the benefits for Australian businesses, Mr Johnson said: “For example, in the consumer goods sector, Australian department stores and importers of goods such as clothing and toys have established buying offices in Hong Kong to gain access to China. These businesses are starting to move to RMB and are benefiting from a wider pool of suppliers.”

RMB payments grew in value by 171% between January 2012 and January 2013. February saw a 24% increase, versus 13% across all currencies, propelling RMB payments to an alltime high market share of 0.63%.1

NAB’s latest trade finance capability is in addition to the bank’s existing foreign exchange hedging capabilities and its agreement with China’s largest payment network, China UnionPay. NAB is the only Australian bank that accepts cards from China UnionPay on its EFTPOS and ATM networks and recently announced a new online payment capability for Australian businesses.

NAB has branches in Hong Kong and Shanghai as well as a representative office in Beijing. NAB was the first Australian bank to establish a business presence in China in 1982 and has been focused on supporting customers in bilateral trade and economic relationships between the two regions ever since.

1. SWIFT RMB tracker – Feb 2013

Further background

NAB full suite of RMB solutions include:

  • RMB foreign currency account services - including overdraft
  • Remittance services – inward and outward
  • Import Letters of Credit (Issuance and Payment)
  • Export Letters of Credit Advising, Confirmation, Discounting/Negotiation
  • Export/Import Bills for Collection
  • Short Term Trade Finance
  • Foreign currency exchange services – spot, forward, & non-deliverable forward
  • Foreign currency term deposits

Media contact

Elisha Vincent
M: +61 (0) 429 566676