Guidance

General Export Facility

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

Our General Export Facility (GEF) provides partial guarantees to banks to help UK exporters to gain access to trade finance facilities. Through GEF, we can support the following facility types, with maximum repayment terms of up to 5 years:

  • cash facilities such as trade loans
  • contingent obligation facilities such as bonding and letter of credit lines

GEF is able to support facilities valued up to around £25 million. For facilities with values over £25 million, contact your local Export Finance Manager as one of UKEF’s other schemes may be suitable.

How it works

General Export Facility

Benefits

The benefits of GEF for UK exporters include:

  • more flexibility – the availability of UKEF’s guarantee helps UK exporters to negotiate more flexible trade finance facilities with participating banks. In turn, these facilities can provide or unlock more working capital to support the growth of UK exporting businesses

  • greater certainty – in contrast to some of UKEF’s other schemes, with GEF UK exporters do not need to evidence any individual export contracts. Putting non-contract specific facilities in place will allow UK exporters to focus on their overall growth without worrying as to whether an export opportunity will be deemed supportable or not

  • improved accessibility – UKEF has provided delegated authority to participating banks of up to £5 million per UK exporter. Whenever an application for GEF support meets certain criteria, UKEF’s guarantee will be automatically granted to the participating bank which therefore minimises application response times. The general nature of GEF will also appeal to exporters who do not routinely enter into large, single export contracts

Eligibility criteria

In order to access the scheme, you must satisfy the bank’s and UKEF’s criteria. One of the key requirements is that the exporter must be able to declare:

  • in any one of the last three financial years, at least 20% of their annual turnover has been made up of UK export sales

Or:

  • in each of the last three financial years, at least 5% of their annual turnover has been made up of UK export sales

Additionally, the exporter must be able to declare:

  • they have premises in the UK
  • they have employees in the UK
  • they pay UK or Isle of Man/Channel Islands National Insurance Contributions or Corporation Tax
  • they manufacture goods, deliver services or produce intangibles from the UK, which would (if required) qualify for a UK Chambers of Commerce Certificate of Origin

And/or:

  • they do not solely engage in the supply of goods that have been manufactured outside of the UK or services where the person contracted to perform the services ordinarily carries on business outside the UK

UKEF guarantee fee

The guaranteed bank pays UKEF a guarantee fee. This fee is a proportion of the interest margin paid by the UK exporter to the bank for providing the facility.

How to apply

To access GEF, exporters should discuss their potential application with their bank or another lender. There are currently six participating lenders:

  • Barclays Bank plc
  • HSBC UK Bank Plc
  • Lloyds Banking Group/Bank of Scotland plc
  • Newable Business Loans Limited
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland plc /National Westminster Bank plc /Ulster Bank
  • Santander UK plc

UKEF is keen to expand the range of its partners.

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

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

Contact details for approved lenders

Contact your bank for further guidance.

Lender Contact Telephone Email
Barclays Bank Plc Mathew Enright, Vice President, Trade and Working Capital 020 7116 3999 mathew.enright@barclays.com
HSBC UK Bank Plc Liz Ambler (London and South East) N/A elizabethambler@hsbc.com
  Matt Osborn (Midlands, South West and Wales) N/A matt.j.osborn@hsbc.com
  Jill Hague (North, including Scotland and Northern Ireland) N/A jillhague@hsbc.com
Lloyds Banking Group/Bank of Scotland Plc Trade Finance N/A TradeFinance@lloydsbanking.com
National Westminster Bank Plc Chris Duggan, SolutionsLine Team 0800 2100235 internationalbanking@natwest.com
Newable Business Loans Limited Philip Reynolds +44 7702 245652 philip.reynolds@newable.co.uk
The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc Chris Duggan, SolutionsLine Team 0800 2100235 internationalbanking@rbs.co.uk
Santander UK Plc Trade and Supplier Finance N/A tradeandsupplierfinanceproduct@santander.co.uk

Becoming an approved lender

UKEF is looking to expand the range of approved lenders operating GEF. Although this guarantee scheme is well-suited to supporting trade finance facilities, the flexibilities of GEF are likely to be relevant to a range of financial institutions – whether they have dedicated trade finance divisions or not.

Find out more about UKEF’s approach to onboarding new partner institutions. Lenders interested in GEF should contact our customer services team. Email customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk or call +44 (0)20 7271 8010.

More information

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Published 7 December 2020