France is exchanging renminbi (Rmb) payments more than any other Euro country, following a 249% increase of its Rmb payments since March 2012.

According to Swift’s latest Rmb tracker, France is now ranked number four in the world (excluding Hong Kong and China) for Rmb payments value. The results reveal that 21.4% of the payments made between France and China/Hong Kong were made in March 2013, compared with only 6.5% the previous year.

France now trails behind the United Kingdom, Singapore and Taiwan.

Swift’s Rmb director, Lisa O’Connor, says: “This is an interesting development as it signifies France’s drive to become a leading Rmb trading centre for Europe. French acceleration in Rmb payments reflects increased competition with the UK since the Bank of England announced that it had signed a three-year currency swap agreement with China in March. It will be interesting to see how France’s work towards setting up a currency swap agreement with China progresses, and the impact that this activity within Europe may have on the Rmb.”

Overall, Rmb payments grew in value by 32.7%, compared with the average increase of just 5.1% across all currencies. It is now the world’s 13th most used trade settlement currency, with a 0.74% market share.