HSBC has appointed Diane D’Erasmo as its first US head of international banking to help global businesses expand into the US market.

As executive vice-president, international for the bank’s commercial banking arm, D’Erasmo will lead a new initiative to support multinational companies that want to expand or explore new opportunities for trade and investment.

D’Erasmo is based in New York and previously had oversight of HSBC’s commercial banking business in the Northeastern region of the US.

“HSBC understands that many business leaders are focusing their growth efforts in emerging markets, but it’s important to remember that the US remains the world’s largest and most connected economy,” says Steve Bottomley, HSBC’s head of commercial banking in North America.

“Whether it’s reaching out to 314 million American consumers, or seeking partners anywhere from California’s technology cluster to New York’s business services hub, there’s significant value in the US for companies with the expert cross-border support that Diane and our US commercial banking team offer.”

In October this year, the World Trade Organisation published data showing that US global merchandise export volumes increased by 5% in 2011, making the US the world’s biggest trader with US$3.7tn of imports and exports. The US was also the top trader in commercial services, the WTO data shows, generating US$976bn of business.