UKEF reveals extra support for SME exporters

SME exporters will have fast-track access to finance products along with potentially greater access to markets in India

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced new measures to help SME exporters to access more opportunities.

The body has expanded its ‘auto-inclusion’ scheme, giving businesses fast-track access to finance products like the government’s General Export Facility. The General Export Facility provides partial guarantees to banks to help UK exporters gain access to trade finance facilities. The following facility types are supported:

  • Cash facilities such as trade loans
  • Contingent obligation facilities such as bonding and letter of credit lines

This means that SME exporters can get government-backed support quickly without intervention from the UKEF.

The maximum support UKEF can offer under auto-inclusion has doubled from £5m to £10m. Now exporters can access more support with a simple request through a participating bank. General tenor for loans under the General Export Facility has also increased from two to five years, giving businesses more flexible repayment terms where needed.

Small businesses have accessed more than £280m in financing through the scheme since it launched in March 2021.

In addition, a new agreement between the UKEF and HSBC India would help SMEs export to markets in India. A Letter of Intent shows that they’re looking to establish a financing programme under the UKEF’s Standard Buyer Loan Guarantee (SBLG) programme. This would unlock up to £100m in potential loans, allowing Indian buyers to purchase UK goods and services.

Tim Reid, CEO at UK Export Finance, said: “We’re confident that our announcements will unlock even more deals for UK firms looking to sell to the world, whether they’re exporting for the first time or looking for the latest in a long line of export successes.”

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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