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18 December 2015

Research Report

Download 'Worldwide currency usage and trends' report (320KB) 

Worldwide Currency Usage and Trends is an information paper prepared by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) in collaboration with the City of London Corporation and Paris EUROPLACE. Drawing on data from SWIFT’s global payments platform, made public for the first time, this paper analyses interregional currency usage patterns during 2012-2014.

The paper highlights the US dollar’s dominant role as an international trade currency, with a 51.9% share of the total value in 2014, followed by the euro (30.5% share) and the British pound in third (5.4% share). Asian currencies, such as the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan also play a substantial role, with the yuan’s usage in particular growing significantly over the last two years.

The paper also shows that UK financial institutions continue to be the major trading partner for all European payment flows, processing more than 50% of all payments originating from the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions sent to Europe. This demonstrates the UK’s strong intermediary role in global trade.

Overall, these findings provide a new and valuable insight into how the use of currencies for global payments has changed over recent years.


17 December 2015
Last Modified:
18 December 2015