Press release

UK government announces financial support for record number of exporters in 2015-16

The UK Export Finance (UKEF) annual report and accounts, published today, show that the UK’s export credit agency has supported the largest number of exporters in 25 years, with a 23% increase since last year.

77% of the exporters that benefited from finance and insurance from UKEF were small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and an estimated 7,000 companies in exporter supply chains also indirectly benefited. Altogether, UKEF supported more than £800 million in sales overseas through its SME-targeted trade finance products, and issued £1.8 billion in export support.

This announcement comes a year into the Exporting is GREAT campaign, the government’s drive to empower 100,000 new companies to sell overseas by 2020.

Lord Price, Minister for Trade and Investment, welcomed the results, saying:

Exporting can help businesses grow – and grow fast. That means more jobs, more profits, more tax revenue and more benefit to society. By providing its innovative support to more exporters than ever before, UKEF is helping to make exports happen, playing a vital role in the whole-of-government push for 100,000 new exporters by 2020.

Louis Taylor, UKEF’s Chief Executive Officer, added:

UK Export Finance’s mission is to ensure that no viable UK export should fail for lack of finance or insurance from the private sector. This year’s results show that we are making significant progress in reaching a wider customer base. We will continue to be innovative and flexible, anticipating the needs of exporters and finding ways to meet them.

Download the 2015-16 Performance Highlights and the Annual Report and Accounts here.

Business highlights in 2015-16 included:

  • UKEF grew by 23% the number of businesses that directly benefited from its support.
  • UKEF helped UK companies export to 69 countries.
  • UKEF supported more than £800 million of new UK export contracts via our trade finance products. These products have now supported nearly £3 billion of UK export contracts since they were introduced in 2011 in response to the economic downturn, including £1.8 billion of contracts won by SMEs.
  • UKEF issued a total of £1.8 billion of export support.
  • More than 7,000 companies are estimated to benefit from UKEF’s support via exporter supply chains.
  • UKEF’s network of export finance advisers held more than 2,500 one-to-one interactions with UK companies and more than 1,500 with intermediaries this year.
  • UKEF was the first export credit agency outside China to guarantee a loan in Chinese currency (the offshore renminbi), paving the way for British companies to export more easily to the Chinese market.
  • The department reached an agreement with General Electric that was instrumental in the company committing to a significant investment in the UK, with the potential to create more than 1,000 jobs.
  • UKEF is embedded in the whole-of-government Exporting is GREAT campaign, working to empower an additional 100,000 companies to sell overseas by 2020.
  • The department began development of a new digital interface to support customer applications that will be made available in 2016-17.
  • We completed a public consultation that allowed for simplification of our application process.
  • We developed detailed online product guides to help and encourage bank staff and insurance brokers to use them in support of their clients.
  • This year saw a five-fold increase in the direct lending support issued.
  • UKEF reintroduced cover to support UK companies seeking to compete for business in Iran.
  • UKEF adopted the Equator Principles during the year, alongside a parallel commitment to meet OECD recommended standards.

Notes for editors:

  1. UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency. It exists to ensure that no viable UK export should fail for want of finance or insurance from the private market. It provides finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfil and ensure they get paid for export contracts.

  2. Sectors in which UKEF has supported exports include: aerospace, construction, oil and gas, mining and metals, petrochemicals, telecommunications, and transport.

  3. UKEF has a regional network of 24 export finance advisers supporting export businesses.

  4. UKEF supports exporters with a range of products that include:
    • Bond insurance policy
    • Bond support scheme
    • Buyer & supplier credit financing facility
    • Direct lending facility
    • Export insurance policy
    • Export refinancing facility
    • Export working capital scheme
    • Letter of credit guarantee scheme
  5. The latest information on UKEF’s country cover positions can be found here

Media enquiries: Julia Beck, Media Relations Manager