UK Export Finance (UKEF) is launching a new guarantee scheme that will help importers of UK goods and services obtain easier access to financing up to £30 million. 

In a bid to boost exports, the programme will guarantee loans of up to 85 percent of the contract value with a UK exporter. 

It follows an overall of the UK’s export credit agency to make support to SMEs more accessible in the post-pandemic recovery period, and boost Britain’s trade with overseas markets. The credit agency is also taking advantage of its significant liquidity, with an overall capacity of £50 billion to support UK exporters. 

The Standard Buyer Loan Guarantee (SBLG) will allow UKEF to guarantee a loan typically worth between £1 million to £30 million. 

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.”

Northern Irish firm first to benefit

Northern Irish company, CDE Global, provides 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.

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

CDE’s Chief Executive Officer, Marc Jennings, said:

“This is the second time we’ve partnered with UKEF. Its export sales support facilitated the development of a major recycling project in Europe, a very important sector for our future growth. 

“The finance facility offered by UKEF for this new project, a second silica sand wet processing plant for our customer Sebri Group, is a boost to our business, sustaining engineering manufacturing roles, and the access to finance ensures our customer can continue to invest in the best solution to help them grow.”

Andrew Woolfson Partner at AF Capital Partners commented:

“This scheme allows buyers to make their choice based on the quality of the goods alone. For CDE, it has single-handedly brought an export contract to the UK that was otherwise being awarded to a German competitor. We look forward to being part of a product that can grow UK exports for many years to come.”