Spotlight on spoke to Mark Lynam, Trade & International Manager for RBS Corporate Banking / Future Williams & Glyn Team and Mark provided us with the answers to this month's Spotlight On questions.
If you would like to know more about RBS Corporate Banking you can contact Mark on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Customer Relationship Team on 0845 835 1257
Mark, please provide us with some company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
The Royal Bank of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh in 1727. Today’s RBS group and its brands are made up of hundreds of past banks, each of which has left its mark on our identity today. They were all different – large and small, city and country, traditional and innovative – and grew to serve the banking needs of unique communities all over the UK. One group company Child & Co, dates back to the 1640’s and is the oldest name still trading in British banking today. The first English bank outside London was formed in the 1650s and is now the Nottingham Smiths Bank branch of NatWest.
Can you give us an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation?
I am a dedicated Trade and International Manager focussed on helping SME’s to grow their business safely and profitably. As well as providing funding and specific financial products to support trade deals, I advise on the financial aspects to reduce the risks involved in trading with overseas entities. For UK exporters, I help customers to ensure they get paid and for UK importers to help ensure they get the goods and services they are paying for - in the timescales they need. Trade risk mitigation involves many other aspects and an important part of my role involves directing business to where they can find the right technical and professional advice – including EMITA and its members!
Mark, how did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
I was introduced to EMITA by a colleague. I never fail to be amazed just how diverse and innovative businesses in the East Midlands are. Meeting and networking with the diverse range of EMITA member businesses provides an invaluable opportunity to keep up to date with real trading issues and my own continuing professional development.
How long have you been active in the export / import market at RBS and which countries do you currently trade with?
I have been dealing with business clients since joining the Bank in 1982. I headed the ‘foreign department’ at NatWest’s Leicester, St Martins branch for several years before moving to relationship management in a corporate business centre, then commencing my current role in 2008. The Bank’s customers trade globally and there are few parts of the world where we have not assisted our customers during my career.
What made you personally decide to specialise in International Trade
I have always enjoyed travelling and experiencing different cultures and I think this naturally attracted me to International Trade as a career path within the Bank. This type of knowledge can be invaluable when helping my clients to explore their own international trade ambitions and assist me to provide appropriate solutions.
What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Some of my most challenging deals involve securing significant working capital facilities for businesses to undertake much larger deals than they have previously undertaken - or in a market where they have no previous experience. Some of these present special credit risks for the Bank but provided we become comfortable with the risks I am pleased to say that we are often able to assist.
What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
Trading Internationally is really no different to trading domestically – just with a few extra considerations. If you have a good product or service you can probably sell it any where in the world!
What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to support your customers with next?
The business environment has presented uncertainties throughout my whole career – the ‘leave’ decision from the European Referendum is simply the latest challenge. Europe will remain the UK’s most important trading partner and East Midlands businesses must continue to foster good trading relationships during and after the formal exit process – great opportunities still exist. But the exit vote has perhaps acted as a welcome catalyst for businesses to look at markets further afield. I think that North America and the growing economies of the Far East still present some of the best opportunities for British businesses - but RBS will continue to advise and support its customers wherever they see their next opportunity.
That's it then, from Mark Lynam at RBS.
Many thanks to Mark for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions