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HomeCBDCsStandard Chartered Becomes First Foreign Bank to Join China's CBDC Pilot

Standard Chartered Becomes First Foreign Bank to Join China’s CBDC Pilot

On November 27th, British multinational bank Standard Chartered announced it would be joining China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot testing program for the digital yuan (e-CNY). This makes Standard Chartered the first foreign bank to engage with the country’s CBDC initiatives.

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Through its local partner City Bank Clearing Services Co, Standard Chartered will provide e-CNY services to its clients in China. This includes allowing clients to purchase, exchange and redeem e-CNY within their bank accounts. The bank will explore potential use cases such as cross-border merchant payments, trade financing and supply chain financing.

As per the announcement, Standard Chartered is optimistic about the prospects for digital renminbi. Xiaolei Zhang, President of Standard Chartered China, expressed the bank’s long-standing roots in the Chinese market.

The CBDC pilot is currently undergoing testing across 26 cities and provinces in China. Since its launch in 2020, e-CNY transactions have exceeded 1.8 trillion yuan ($253.6 billion), while 120 million e-wallets have been activated.

Standard Chartered has been actively engaged with digital currencies. Last year, it participated in a cross-border payment settlement test project for CBDCs in Hong Kong. Earlier in 2023, the bank published a report with PwC China discussing CBDC applications in banking.

The move highlights growing interest in China’s CBDC initiative, which has seen increasing adoption. Standard Chartered’s participation is a step towards broader adoption of CBDCs by financial institutions globally.




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