UKEF Ramping up Support for SMEs
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A message from Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UK Export Finance (UKEF): Ramping up support for SMEs
As an international economic department, one important way we are working together to improve UK trade is by building greater capacity and appetite among UK businesses to sell overseas.
SMEs are critical to the UK economy, but we know that for these companies, finding the finance they need to export can be challenging.
So what are we doing to help?
In July, the Secretary of State signed a memorandum of understanding committing to closer partnership with the five major high street banks, making it easier for UK SMEs to access the millions in financial support available from UK Export Finance.
I am delighted to inform you that this new partnership with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS/NatWest and Santander will, from Monday 16 October, be fully operational.
There are two key ways we are improving support for the UK’s SMEs:
- Firstly, SMEs can now access UKEF support directly from their bank, removing the burden of duplicate applications
- And, for the first time, UKEF is extending its support to UK companies further down the supply chain – to direct suppliers to UK exporters. This will be available from all UKEF banking partners, not just the big five.
This means accessing government-backed financing for SMEs selling, or contributing to the sale of, goods and services overseas will be easier, quicker and more scalable than ever before.
And indeed, UKEF’s commitment to continually improving its support for SMEs is not going unrecognised. Today’s announcement has already been endorsed by the Federation of Small Businesses, and earlier this week the British Exporters Association gave UKEF an impressive 9/10 rating for the fourth year running.