Exporting SMEs get funding boost

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has launched a new scheme which aims to free up funds for exporting SMEs to cover the costs of international trade.

The scheme allows UKEF, the UK’s export credit agency, to provide a partial guarantee to lenders of up 80% of credit risk on facilities up to £25m.

Exporters will be able to apply for finance from five banks to help cover everyday costs linked to exports, which includes paying for labour, dealing with export contracts and ease cashflow constraints.

The General Export Facility (GEF) has partnered with the five commercial banks to supply finance options, such as trade loans and invoice financing.

To qualify for the GEF, exporters need to declare that either 20% of annual turnover came from UK export sales in one of the last three tax years, or 5% of turnover came from UK export sales in each of the last three tax years.

Stephen Pegge, director at UK Finance, said:

“We expect business to apply from the new year as the GEF enables lenders to support an even wider range of small and medium-sized firms, giving businesses the confidence to win new contracts by having an agreed revolving facility in place.”

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