James Emmett has been appointed as HSBC’s global head of trade and receivables finance, following the sudden departure of Rakesh Bhatia.

He will be reporting to Alan Keir, group managing director and global head, commercial banking.

Emmett has been with HSBC for 17 years, most recently as head of strategy, commercial banking, group strategy and planning – a London-based position he held since January 2012.

He says: “Trade finance is where HSBC began nearly 150 years ago. Today, our geographic footprint covers 77% of world trade and GTRF remains at the centre of the group’s growth strategy.

“I have spent much of my career at HSBC ensuring that our international connectivity works for our clients, with a significant proportion of that in trade finance. I am greatly looking forward to building on our global strength in trade and receivables finance to ensure that we are connecting our offices, products and people across the world, to deliver business growth for our customers.”

Bhatia became global head of trade finance and supply chain in January 2011, after heading up HSBC’s Indonesian operations. He will now move to another position within HSBC.