Britain said Thursday that it was preparing to issue a yuan-denominated sovereign bond, which will be the first of its kind by a Western nation outside China.
The UK Treasury said in a statement that it has selected Bank of China, HSBC and Standard Chartered to arrange the bond sale. Proceeds will be used to finance foreign currency reserves, it added, but gave no figures.
The development is part of government plans to boost links with Beijing, bolster London's market for yuan or renminbi, and underline the capital's status as a global financial hub.
"We’re kicking off the deal for Britain’s RMB (yuan) bond, the first by a Western country," said finance minister George Osborne.
"It’s another step in cementing Britain’s position as the centre of global finance.”
The government had already unveiled its plans for yuan-denominated bonds last month.
Britain currently only holds foreign currency reserves in US dollars, euros, yen and Canadian dollars.
"A British RMB sovereign bond signals the RMB's potential as a future reserve currency," the Treasury statement said, adding that the bond would be issued "in due course subject to market conditions".
British politicians have been scrambling to make London China's Western financial hub as Beijing loosens its tight regulations on international trading in the yuan.
London has meanwhile repeatedly stressed the importance of improving economic ties with China.
"Key to our long-term economic plan is increasing our exports to fast-growing economies like China, and attracting more investment to our shores," added Osborne.
"To do that, we need to make sure China’s currency, the RMB, is used and traded here, as that will be not only good for China, but good for British jobs and investment too."
Last year the yuan overtook the euro as the world's second-largest trade currency after the dollar.
British authorities have embarked on a charm offensive to attract Chinese capital in the City of London, with yuan volumes more than doubling in the year to July.