Teresa Casal has joined Portugal’s Banco Internacional do Funchal (Banif) in London as head of trade finance. She is joined by Josephine Grima as head of operations.

Casal’s previous positions include director of forfaiting at Standard Chartered Bank and head of global sales at Standard Bank London.

Grima was formerly at London Forfaiting Company and Fimbank in Malta  where she held the position of senior vice-president.

Banif is a leading player in the Portuguese financial services arena. It also has a strong presence in Brazil which covers the Latin American region  jointly with an office in Miami.

Banif is looking to increase trade finance activities in emerging markets in Eastern Europe, the CIS, Middle East, Asia and Africa out of London.

“The bank is moving from the periphery into the mainstream to be a first class provider of trade finance services in key niche markets,” says Casal, “with a focused drive in support of  Banif’s customer base internationally.”

Casal adds: “We aim to be a responsive team player to our partners. With an experienced and strong management team in place, the prime driver is to lead the business into the next phase of growth.”