HSBC has opened a £1mn trade finance line with Barnes Williams, an importer and exporter of herbs, spices and ingredients.

The company has also opened a renminbi account with the bank, which will enable it to trade with Chinese vendors in local currency. It currently imports herbs, spices, garlic, onions and chillies from China (as well as South America and North Africa), but also exports to East Asia. The credit line will fund its expansion there.

Managing director Nick Barnes says: “This finance package will help us operate the business more efficiently and enable us to fund imports and exports, opposed to just the latter with our previous bank. Being an international business, it was important that we had a partner bank with international credentials and that is why we have moved to HSBC. My father was one of the original men from Del Monte, though he didn’t go as far as wearing the white suit, the contacts he made starting out over 60 years ago have helped establish Barnes Williams as one of the leaders in its field.”

HSBC’s senior international commercial manager Steve Breckon says: “Barnes Williams has complex finance needs as much of the product it imports and exports spends a lot of time in the air or on the sea. Therefore, it needed a finance structure that reflected that and we have been able to put together a package that will result in a more efficiently managed cashflow.”