Juan Pablo Vargas Casaseca has left Banesto to join fellow Spanish bank Caixa Galicia in Madrid as director, international trade finance.

He is part of a team tasked with setting up a trade finance and forfaiting department, “with particular focus on the origination side but also with emphasis on IFIs within both emerging and OECD markets,” he says.

“We are currently working with our credit risk board to get permanent limits and we expect to have those limits and lines approved in brief. Until then, each transaction will be considered on a case-by-case basis.”

The new unit will be headed by Roberto Franci.

Caixa Galicia – long term rated A1 by Moody’s and A+ by Fitch – is Spain’s ninth largest banking group by assets (€39.439bn as at December 2006). The entity has an extensive presence in Spain, with almost 800 branches throughout the country, and continuing this expansion is one of the key objectives in a recent strategic plan.

The international activities will be supported by six representative offices in Europe  and Latin America. It is planned to open imminently two new representative offices in Brazil. The bank also has two full operative branches in Miami, US, and Geneva, Switzerland.