UKEF overhauls buyer finance support to boost SME exports

Wednesday February 24th, 2021

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has launched a new guarantee scheme that will help importers of UK goods and services obtain the financing they need, unlocking trade and boosting exports.

Government Opportunities (GO)

The Standard Buyer Loan Guarantee (SBLG) allows UKEF to guarantee a loan of up to 85% of the contract value with a UK company – typically worth between £1 million to £30 million.

As part of an overhaul to make UKEF’s supplier credit support more accessible, this ensures UK businesses get paid upfront to fulfil an export contract while their overseas buyers can repay the loan from their lender over a longer period.

Coronavirus has hit global supply chains hard with overseas buyers struggling to access the capital they need to import goods and services, restricting trade. That’s why UKEF is working with a range of new lenders to issue loans backed by SBLG.

This means UKEF’s financial support can be accessed more easily, particularly to finance smaller contracts to benefit SMEs, which will help stimulate demand for UK trade and propel economic growth as the country builds back stronger from the pandemic.

Northern Irish firm first to benefit

Northern Irish company, CDE Global, provide wet processing equipment for construction and recycling operations, and is among the first to benefit from SBLG’s pilot programme.

CDE secured a multi-million pound contract with a Tunisian customer to expand the production capabilities at a silica quarry in Oueslatia. In absence of a financial solution from the commercial market to support extended repayments in Tunisia, CDE contacted UKEF for support who offered a nine-year facility to finance the contract for their buyer. This significantly boosted CDE’s turnover and helped support jobs at the firm. You can find more details about the deal here.

The financing was arranged by AF Capital Partners, which is a new partner for UKEF as part of its initiative to support smaller deals.

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart, said:

“The UK is one of the world’s top five exporting nations, supporting well paid jobs in every region and nation across the country. We are determined that this should continue, so this new scheme from our world-leading export finance agency, UKEF, will help our exporters reach buyers they would otherwise miss – and build back stronger from the pandemic.”

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