HSBC Bank Middle East has appointed Simon Vaughan Johnson as regional head of commercial banking.

In this role, Johnson will oversee all commercial banking business across the Middle East region, including trade services, payments and cash management services, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

Before taking up his new role, Johnson was senior executive, global commercial banking in Hong Kong, a role he held since August 2007. Johnson was instrumental in developing and implementing the global commercial banking strategy, working closely with the global commercial banking management committee.

Speaking on his appointment, Simon Cooper, deputy chairman and CEO of HSBC Bank Middle East, said: “The Middle East is strategically critical both for commercial banking and for the group, and Johnson’s role is a key appointment to ensure that the business is best positioned to maximise growth and shareholder return going forward.

“Johnson has extensive international experience across the group, as well as broad experience of HSBC’s customer groups and functions, including global transaction banking, HSBC private banking and global banking. Johnson has worked in the UAE and in Oman and already has an excellent network in the region, positioning him well as he leads the next phase of growth for commercial banking in the Middle East.”

Johnson comments: “As a key emerging market, the Middle East presents great business opportunities in these challenging times. HSBC has built a solid reputation by developing long-term relationships with customers, helping businesses grow and prosper locally and internationally. I look forward to building up on the successes of our commercial banking business and taking it to the next level.”