HSBC regional boss pledges to boost lending to smaller firms

The regional head of commercial banking at HSBC has pledged to boost lending to smaller firms.

Ian Tandy, who has taken over as commercial regional director in the south and east region, will manage HSBC's commercial banking operations, supporting businesses with a turnover of between �2m and �30m.

His appointment comes as HSBC confirmed it has met its Merlin lending target for 2011, and said it intends to lend more to SMEs in 2012.

Mr Tandy, who has more than 20 years' experience working in trade finance, will oversee strategic planning and development and business performance for the region.

'These are challenging times for businesses in southern and eastern England and I'm committed to working with my incredibly experienced and capable teams to help SMEs in the region to grow and strengthen their businesses both domestically and internationally,' Mr Tandy said.

'We are in the fortunate position of being able to offer businesses worldwide expertise and global solutions. While knowing the local market inside out, we want to ensure that we're giving our customers flexible financial support, when and where they need it.

'After successfully meeting our Merlin lending commitments last year, HSBC plans to offer even more lending support to SMEs in 2012 and to continue to develop innovative new products.

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'To reinforce the bank's strategy to be the leading international trade and business bank, HSBC is increasing the number of international commercial managers by over a third and we will look to approve at least 80pc of applications for finance from SMEs. This is a clear commitment to UK business and the UK economy.'

Mr Tandy, who is married with two daughters, joined HSBC in 2008 as head of the trade and supply chain in the UK. Prior to that he was regional sales director of international banking services at Royal Bank of Scotland.

He will be supported by Markus Keller, deputy regional commercial director (sales and distribution) and Craig Wilson, deputy regional commercial director (risk).