UK: UKEP and major 5 banks partner up to boost SME trade

Export credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF) and the 5 major UK banks have formed a partnership that will allows the banks to offer government backed finance to their customers. UKEF provides export finance to SMEs looking to trade internationally in situations where the proposal is considered too risky for banks to lend.

Under the old system, SMEs would need to apply to a bank for finance. If the bank did not approve the finance, SMEs would then be able to apply directly to UKEF for finance, with this process often taking weeks.

"Under the new system, if a proposal does not meet the banks requirements, but does meet UKEFs requirements, the bank will be able to offer up to £2 million in finance backed by a government guarantee."


Under the new system, if a proposal does not meet the banks requirements, but does meet UKEFs requirements, the bank will be able to offer up to £2 million in finance backed by a government guarantee. The bank will be able to notify UKEF of the finance though a digital platform.

The new partnership is expected to increase SME access to export finance and speed up the application process. Access to UKEF backed finance will now also be offered to SMEs that service internationally trading businesses directly in addition to those that trade internationally themselves.

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