Insurance · 13 July 2017

More government export finance up for grabs to support small business

Background with heap of cardboard boxes, parcels and Earth globe
UKEF has delivered export finance worth £500m since 2011

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced a partnership with five major high street banks to offer further export finance for UK companies trading overseas and firms in their supply chains.

Leading the initiative, UK Export Finance (UKEF), a government department, has enlisted HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS/NatWest and Santander to provide further financial support for exporters as well as small companies within their supply chains.

Since 2011, UKEF has delivered export finance worth £500m to almost 300 firms, resulting in overseas contracts worth “several billions”, according to government figures.

For exporters, banks will provide finance through working capital loans and bonds required by overseas buyers, backed by a UKEF guarantee.

Meanwhile, owners of small companies in those supply chains will receive finance to invest in their own products in services, while benefitting from their client’s ability to overseas trade.

UKEF products include export insurance policies, letter of credit guarantee schemes and direct lending facilities.

Commenting on the announcement, Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, said the partnership would “help small businesses seize the global demand for British exports”.

“Providing easily accessible finance, backed by UKEF’s guarantee, will lift a common barrier to exporting,” he added.

“Providing that finance to suppliers as well as exporters means spreading the benefits of global trade, supporting more jobs and growth for companies large and small.”

Sectors set to benefit from further export finance include manufacturing, construction, transport and telecommunications.

John Mahon, Head of Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Both exporters and companies involved in international trade through supply chains will benefit, and we look forward to further collaborating with UKEF and our colleagues across the industry to find more new and innovative ways to help UK businesses take full advantage of export opportunities.”

Find out if you can get your hands on HSBC’s £10bn small business loans fund set to unlock UK exports

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.