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Government increases support for SME trade

Martin Greenland | 07:29 Wednesday 18th October 2017

The international trade secretary Liam Fox has announced that SMEs can now access government-backed export finance directly from their banks.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) – the UK's export credit agency – has launched a new partnership with five major high street banks enabling smaller businesses to access millions of pounds in government-backed trade finance directly from their banks in seconds.

UKEF provides financial support to help UK companies sell to international customers.

The new partnership with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS/NatWest and Santander was first announced by Mr Fox in July.

Companies which supply exporters can now access UKEF-backed finance for the first time, helping them become part of major export contracts, as well as spreading the benefits of trade to SMEs across the UK.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and giving them the support they need to seize international trading opportunities is a priority for the Department for International Trade as an international economic department,” said Mr Fox.

“That's why we're partnering with the five major high street banks to make government-backed finance from UK Export Finance readily available in a matter of seconds, opening up new global contracts to businesses across the UK.”

UKEF offers guarantees to banks to help businesses access bank finance, even when they have reached their credit limit or when the deal is considered too risky for banks to take on alone – opening up emerging global markets to UK suppliers.

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