HSBC has announced the appointment of Andrew Long as chief operating officer (COO), effective immediately. To be based in Hong Kong, Long will manage the Asian country heads of operations and will report directly to HSBC chief executive officer, Michael Smith.

Long will focus on a number of functional areas in the region including banking operations support services, security, administration and purchasing, property and business continuity.

He will be the inaugural COO in the Asia Pacific region, following on from HSBC's creation of similar posts in the UK and US markets. The formation of this new position is described by HSBC as a strategy management move, where operations and business will be split into two distinct roles.

Before his promotion, Long was the Hong Kong-based head of operations and processing for Asia Pacific, a post he held since 2001.

A seasoned veteran at HSBC, Long joined the group in 1978 as a manager in the imports department in Hong Kong and was thereafter posted to numerous locations throughout Asia focusing on corporate banking, IT, training, operations and finance.

In 1994, Long became HSBC's Australia head of personal banking before transferring to the New York office in 1995 as senior vice president of operations. In the latter months of 1995, Long was relocated once again, assuming the London-based divisional manager of trade services position before being appointed head of trade services for Midland Bank (now part of HSBC) in 1997.

Two years later, Long returned to Hong Kong with HSBC as regional head of regional head of global payments and cash management.

Aside from leading operations in the Asia Pacific region, Long has fingers in many of HSBC's regional pies. He is chairman and director of HSBC Precision Printing in Hong Kong and a director of the Malaysia-based HSBC Electronic Data Processing. Long also holds the chairmanship in HSBC's Electronic Date Processing (Guangdong) and Data Processing (Shanghai).