Lloyds Bank has nominated Paul Smith as a new head of trade finance to provide dedicated support to SMEs looking to export.

Smith will lead a team of 18 international business managers across the UK who support businesses with up to £25mn annual turnover through the different stages of their international growth strategy.

Smith has been working at Lloyds for more than 31 years, and joins the global transactional banking team after working as area director for Lloyds Bank commercial banking in the north west, where he was working with local SMEs, and as a senior manager in the bank’s national risk management team.

He will report to John Robson, director for SME global transactions banking. “Paul has an impressive track record of delivering the right solutions to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions, and is well placed to lead the trade finance team to help open up international opportunities to UK firms and help them grow,” says Robson.

Smith adds: “We understand that dealing with global customers can result in delayed payments, and the team is focused on providing the working capital facilities that ensure longer payment terms don’t have an impact on a business’s operations and ability to grow.”

As part of Lloyds’ SME charter, the bank has pledged to increase its trade financing facilities by 25% in 2015, as well as supporting an additional 5,000 businesses to trade internationally over the next three years, bringing the total to 75,000.