On 20 May 2009, it was confirmed that HSBC Holdings and Bank of East Asia received approval from mainland regulators to issue Yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong. Both banks are the first foreign lenders to be granted permission to do so as China develops its off-shore Yuan market.

Traditionally, foreign banks have a limited network in China and usually rely on the interbank market and deposits as their main source of funding. The approval now provides HSBC Holdings and Bank of East Asia with a new fund-raising channel for their China-incorporated banking networks.