In the 1970s it was bellbottoms; in the the 1980s it was Duran Duran; and in the 1990s it was rave music. And what's the trend of our time?

Well, it seems to be combining loan and bond businesses into single units. JPMorgan got the trend going last year, and now HSBC is also combining its Asian loans and bonds businesses including project finance into a new debt finance group - to be headed by Asia's most youthful and thrusting banker, Mark Bucknall.

"You may ask why we didn't do this 10 years ago," says Bucknall. "That's a good question. Maybe we should have."

Bucknall will run the debt finance group, while loans supremo Avi Bindra will become head of the debt markets client group, and will oversee the origination bonds, in addition to the loans business which he already runs. Legal eagle, Andrew Ferguson will run transaction management while Bryan Pascoe will run debt syndicate.

"Our client are demanding greater clarity in their product delivery," Bucknall adds. "If you look at corporate X, Y, or Z in Asia their finance team makes decisions about whether to do a loan or a bond. But it doesn't make a lot of difference to them as long as they get the desired size and maturity. They just see it all as debt finance."

And adds Bindra: "We are creating one common origination team that talks to clients about all things to do with the liability side of the balance sheet. In the past different teams would be going in pitching different debt products. That won't happen anymore. We will have one team with one profit centre focusing on what the clients want."