An expansion of yuan services offered by banks is being planned to strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre, the financial secretary says. Addressing a luncheon in Sydney at the end of a 10-day visit to Australasia, Henry Tang Ying-yen said the government was discussing the possibility of further yuan services with Beijing. Hong Kong banks have been providing a limited range of yuan services since 2004, including currency exchange, deposits, remittances and credit card services. 'This may be a small step, but the meaning is significant,' Mr Tang said. The financial secretary said the mainland had recently relaxed currency controls on investments by residents and enterprises through banks, insurance or fund management firms outside the country. He also sought to dampen fears that Hong Kong would lose out because of the rapid economic development on the mainland. While acknowledging that some industries might be affected by cross-border competition, Mr Tang said the debate on competitiveness was a reflection of the need to guard against problems and to make improvements.