UK Export Finance (UKEF) provided record levels of support to British businesses trading overseas in 2020/21, new figures have revealed.
The research, published by the UK Government, also shows that UKEF more than doubled the number of businesses it assisted over the last two years.
As the Government’s export credit agency, UKEF helps businesses export their goods and services overseas where access to finance is limiting their ability to grow and trade.
The new General Export Facility (GEF), for example, provides partial (up to 80 per cent) guarantees to incentivise banks to support international trade operations through various loan facilities or contingent obligation facilities, such as bonding and letter of credit lines.
The Export Development Guarantee (EDG), meanwhile, helps large UK exporters access high value loan facilities for general working capital or capital expenditure purposes.
And thanks to these schemes, UKEF has recorded a record year. According to the report, the agency provided some £12.3 billion in support for UK exports in 2020/21 – nearly three times the amount provided in the previous financial year.
The figures also reveal that UKEF doubled the number of businesses it assisted over the last 24 months – supporting up to 107,000 jobs throughout the global coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the report, Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart, said: “UKEF stepped up when its help was needed most. Coronavirus put the UK in its most economically challenging position in decades. UKEF has been central to the government’s response and provided £12.3 billion in support of UK exports – the most in 30 years. This backing helped our nation of exporters keep selling to the world through this pandemic.
“We are opening up the world’s fastest growing markets through the trade deals we are negotiating so that the UK can recover as quickly as possible from the pandemic.”
Marcus Dolman, Co-Chairman of the British Exporters’ Association (BExA), added: “UKEF has stepped up and provided much needed support to sustain exporters through the pandemic. The new EDG and GEF products are already proving their value to UK exporters and to supporting UK jobs. It is also heartening to see increases in UKEF’s traditional support. The rise in the number of exporters supported is positive.”
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