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In a strategic move linked to the expansion of its business banking business in the UK, Bank of Ireland Global Markets has recruited Tom Turney and Philip Smith from HSBC to establish a trade finance unit in London.


The new team, which will grow in line with business activity, will be both an active participant in the secondary market for trade debt and be sourcing primary business from the UK client base.

The initiative will capitalise on the fast growing business banking portfolio Bank of Ireland Global Markets is establishing in the UK and Turney and Smith’s longstanding relationships with corporate customers and banks built up over their combined 46 years at HSBC.

The appointments are part of a growth-focused strategy at Bank of Ireland Global Markets that will see it develop highly skilled teams to help deliver on the target of generating a significant portion of its revenues from international businesses, says Turney.  He adds: “This is a great opportunity to establish a new team within a highly rated bank that is committed to growing its business banking client base and a quality trade finance portfolio”.

Global Markets has stated that its growth depends on an increasing proportion of its asset base being outside Ireland and the enhanced trade finance activity will be a significant contributor to this growth.

Since the initial start up in September 2005 the team has concentrated on secondary market activity but is now actively marketing in the UK. With the emphasis very much on business development the London team will be processing primary business through head office in Dublin where there is an experienced team to support them.

This dedicated resource is able to provide customised service to exporters which Smith sees as pertinent in the UK where outsourcing and moves to large centralised processing units has taken some of the personal touch out of trade finance.  According to Smith, “Bank of Ireland aims to ensure that clients can build a relationship with the operations team as well as the business development team, and benefit from their focused and efficient service.”

In the near future Turney sees expansion into the export credit and structured trade finance markets and is encouraged in his ambitions in these specialist areas by the open minded attitude pervading the bank. He comments, “If you put forward a sound, well-thought out proposal, it will receive a good hearing in the bank and that is exactly how it should be. It is up to our team to provide a flow of good quality opportunities and once booked ensure they are managed professionally.”