(Yicai Global) Jan. 3 -- China’s Harbin Bank and Russia’s Asian-Pacific Bank have realized the first cross-border cash airlift of the ruble, the Russian currency, to Harbin near China-Russia border in the northeast. The move represents the first of its kind between the two financial institutions of China and Russia to ease the pressure of insufficient provision of the ruble in China’s domestic banks.
Harbin Bank transferred RUB10 million (USD175,000) in cash from Russia’s Asia-Pacific Bank in Moscow by air to the coffer of Harbin Bank in China by air, the bank said on Dec.20. The bank, therefore, has established a professional cross-border cash transfer system between the two countries, Chinanews.com quoted a manager of the bank as saying.
“The move opens the exit and entry channels for the ruble in cash and changes the situation in domestic financial institutions, allowing customers to withdraw ruble without any deposit in the currency,” the manager said. It not only provides a convenient channel for travelers, students and businessmen in both China and Russia, but also provides a solid foundation for strengthening the cash cooperation between Chinese and Russian financial institutions, he added.
Harbin Bank is one of the earliest banks in China which often carries out financial business with Russian institutions. Since the northeastern Heilongjiang Province is a major partner in economic and trade cooperation with Russia, Harbin Bank, taking advantage of its location, is the leader in the financial cooperation with Russia compared with other banks, it says.
Cross-border cash transfer is not a regular business of the bank, which involves technical difficulties during the process. Among them are the risk management during the transfer, business communication with the counterparty, coordination between China and Russia in customs clearance and the route selection for the transfer, the report added.