VTB said on Tuesday it had become the first Russian bank to launch money transfers to China in yuan without using the international messaging system SWIFT that underpins financial transactions globally.
Demand for the yuan in Russia has increased since February when Russia sent troops into Ukraine and the West imposed sanctions against Moscow, limiting its access to the dollar and euro markets.
“The new reality is leading to a massive rejection of the use of the dollar and the euro in international payments,” VTB CEO Andrei Kostin said in a statement. “The launch of the yuan transfer system will significantly simplify the work of Russian companies and individuals with Chinese partners, increasing the popularity of the yuan in our country,” he said.
VTB said the maximum amount of a single money transfer was equivalent to 20 million roubles ($328,677) and the maximum monthly limit is set at 100 million roubles.
VTB’s Kostin also said there was a need to develop payment systems as an alternative to SWIFT.