Santander Corporate Banking has made two appointments to its regional UK trade finance team. Mark Lonsdale joins the bank as director, trade finance – North, and Barrie Kilfeather joins as director, trade finance, covering Anglia, Midlands, South West and Wales.

In his new position, Lonsdale takes responsibility for the bank’s regional trade finance services available to corporate and commercial customers through Santander’s regional corporate banking centres in Belfast, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sheffield and Stockton on Tees.

Lonsdale will support Jonathan Dyer, regional managing director, and will be recruiting a team of experienced trade finance specialists to ensure that the bank is able to offer a true relationship service to organisations in the regions.

Lonsdale brings 22 years’ commercial and corporate banking experience to his new role and has spent the majority of his career supporting businesses in the North of England. A Member of the Institute of Export, he joins Santander from Barclays where he was director of trade finance – North England region, based in Manchester.

Commenting on his new role, Lonsdale says: “The UK has for a long time been at the heart of international trade, and despite the current market conditions, I believe that there are still opportunities for businesses that are looking to develop their international activities. Most, if not all, companies and industries have felt some impact from the turbulent market environment; however it’s those companies that have diversified their operations and risk across different markets who will be better placed to survive the current economic downturn. The bank’s trade finance team, based in London, is well established and I am confident that offering local expertise to organisations looking overseas will prove a very attractive proposition.”

Meanwhile, Barrie Kilfeather assumes responsibility for Santander’s trade finance products and services in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leicester, Milton Keynes and Nottingham.

Kilfeather brings 30 years’ commercial and corporate banking experience to this new position, the majority of which has been in providing trade financing solutions to businesses. He joins Santander from RBS.

Commenting on his new role, Kilfeather says: “The current economic climate has resulted in many businesses looking to overseas markets or established companies that trade internationally to review their banking arrangements.

“I am confident that offering trade finance expertise to businesses locally will prove a very attractive proposition. This local presence together with the strength of Santander, one of the world’s largest and best capitalised banks, means that we are well placed to offer the best support for companies across all our regions.”