WHEN it comes to matchmaking HSBC's new area commercial manager Andy Brattesani is aiming to be second to none (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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WHEN it comes to matchmaking HSBC's new Basingstoke area commercial manager Andy Brattesani is aiming to be second to none
WHEN it comes to business match-making, Andy Brattesani is aiming to be second to none. Andy is HSBC’s new area commercial director in Basingstoke, and he sees getting businesses to connect with each other as an important role of the bank. Together with the Thames Valley area, for which he is also responsible, Andy oversees a team of 50 that looks after around 1,800 businesses, with turnovers of between £2million and £30m. “A big part of my job is to try to introduce customers to each other,” said Andy. “And with around 1,800 businesses, you can imagine that makes me a massive potential dating agency.” Out of those businesses, about 600 are looked after by Andy’s team based at the Basingstoke Commercial Centre, at the HSBC branch, in London Street. “My managers will have between 50 to 100 customers each, but the benefit of my job is that I can see an overview of them all,” said Andy, who cites match-making success stories where a Basingstoke firm was introduced to business in Reading and Oxford. “Now they are working with each other,” said Andy. “And we have another local business that we’ve matched with a customer in China – that’s what we banks should do more of.” He also feels that businesses should be focusing on international trade, and he has a team that can help. Andy said: “We are in a great international patch, compared to other parts of the country – I think it’s more in our DNA down here than it is elsewhere. “The beauty of what we do is that our managers can see everything on one screen – irrespective of whether the customer banks with us here in Basingstoke, Abu Dhabi or Canada.” Noting that the local economy is relatively buoyant compared to other areas, Andy is able to report lending to businesses is up. In fact, nationally HSBC’s commercial banking division for the first half of 2012 provided £15.1billion worth of lending to business – up five per cent compared to the same period last year. And on the local level here in Basingstoke, the news looks even better. “Loans are up by 30 per cent on last year,” said Andy adding that invoice financing is up 22 per cent on last year. Invoice financing is where banks like HSBC provide loans to improve a company’s cash flow, allowing it to draw money against its sales invoices before a customer has actually paid. “That is a great barometer because if your invoices finances are up, that means people are raising more invoices, which means they are selling more.” Andy, who originally hails from west London, and who has lived in Burghfield for 17 years is certainly no stranger to Basingstoke. The Queen’s Park Rangers fan first worked in Basingstoke as a 21 year-old for another bank. Having been with HSBC for just over three years, he is delighted with the revamped HSBC Top of The Town offices. “HSBC has about 70 commercial business centres around the country . The fact that we have one in Basingstoke gives you HSBC’s view of the potential for the area.”