Guidance

Direct Lending Facility

Find out about our Direct Lending Facility: its benefits, eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Under the Direct Lending Facility, UK Export Finance (UKEF) provides loans within an overall limit of £3 billion to overseas buyers, allowing them to finance the purchase of capital goods and/or services from UK exporters.

The loans we provide for each transaction can be made in up to 8 currencies, with a value limit of £200 million (although more flexibility may be offered in limited circumstances).

The funding provided is at a fixed rate of interest, based on the applicable Commercial Interest Reference Rate (CIRR) set by the OECD, or the cost of UK Government funds (National Loans Fund rates) if higher.

Benefits

The benefits of Direct Lending include:

  • the exporter is paid as though it has a cash contract
  • the buyer or borrower has time to pay over a number of years and can borrow at a competitive fixed rate of interest

Eligibility criteria

The transaction must satisfy UKEF’s eligibility criteria, which includes the requirement that:

  • the contract must demonstrate how it is conducive to supporting or developing exports from the UK

All transactions supported by UKEF must satisfy:

The transaction may not be supported if there are sanctions imposed on the country of the overseas buyer or borrower.

There is no fixed lower limit, although for loans below £5 million (or the foreign currency equivalent), we may offer alternative export finance options.

In most cases, direct loans will not exceed £200 million. However, we may apply a more flexible approach depending on:

  • the remaining resources of the facility at the time a high value application is received
  • the strategic importance (to the national interest) of the proposed transaction

Check our cover indicators to find out what cover is available for the country or territory you want to do business in.

How to apply

To find out more about our Direct Lending Facility or to discuss eligibility for our support, contact our customer services team.

Email customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk or call +44 (0)20 7271 8010.

Application form

More information

Read our guide for applicants on business processes and factors, to find out how we make decisions on applications.

Published 3 March 2014
Last updated 31 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated, on the natural expiration of four year panel memorandums with partnering institutions, to remove the list of financial organisations appointed to help us deliver loans under the Direct Lending Facility.

  2. Updated to include details of UKEF's sovereign premium indicator tool.

  3. Changes to Security of Information Arrangements

  4. The Direct Lending Facility has now been changed to meet committements in the 2014 Budget to: * double the size of our Direct Lending Scheme to £3 billion * make the scheme permanent * relax conditions on loan sizes, and lend at the minimum interest rates allowed by international agreements * work in partnership with the private sector providers to deliver the enhanced lending scheme

  5. First published.