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Extra help for the export supply chain

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The Government has beefed up support for exporters as the UK prepares for Brexit in March 2019.

UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, has entered into a partnership with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS/NatWest and Santander to deliver government-backed financial support more quickly and efficiently.

Crucially, support is extended companies that supply exporters, significantly increasing the number of businesses able to access UKEF-backed trade finance.

These supply chain businesses will be able to secure government-backed financing to deliver products and services.

The International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, said: “This new partnership shows the Department for International Trade’s commitment to help small businesses seize the global demand for British exports.

“Providing easily accessible finance, backed by UKEF’s guarantee, will lift a common barrier to exporting.

“Providing that finance to suppliers as well as exporters means spreading the benefits of global trade, supporting more jobs and growth.”

Providing easily accessible finance, backed by UKEF’s guarantee, will lift a common barrier to exporting.

Through this new model, banks will be able to provide export-related trade finance – for example working capital loans and bonds required by overseas buyers – to support their SME customers directly, with UKEF’s guarantee in place should it be needed.

And for the first time, UKEF will make trade finance support available to suppliers supporting UK exporters.

This should allow thousands of companies in manufacturers’ and service providers’ supply chains to access contract bonds and working capital loans with the Government’s guarantee.

John Mahon, Head of Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Barclays’ partnership with UKEF is an important part of our trade and working capital strategy, and this initiative will allow us to deliver more comprehensive support to clients.

“Delegated authority will make accessing UKEF guarantees simpler for many businesses and will help companies we work with grow more quickly.

“Both exporters and companies involved in international trade through supply chains will benefit.”

Since UKEF’s trade finance products were launched in 2011, nearly 300 companies have benefited from nearly £500m in support for several billion pounds worth of overseas contracts.

For more information about UKEF’s services, click here.

Cumbria Chamber has seen an upturn into enquiries about exporting in the last year, as the weakness of the pound since the EU referendum has made UK goods and services more competitive.

Our experience is backed up by national figures.

Both exporters and companies involved in international trade through supply chains will benefit.

The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) recovered from 54.2 to 55.1 in July, boosted by the largest influx of new export orders since 2010.

The PMI’s export subindex surged by more than five points to 58.2 in July, close to the all-time high hit in April 2010.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce should be the first port of call for exporters.

Our export documentation service ensures that our exporters have the correct paperwork every time, so avoiding lengthy delays and saving money.

And our Cumbria Business Growth Hub provides assistance to new and existing exporters through links with the Department for International Trade.

The First Steps to Export programme is free to SMEs that have never exported or who have not exported at all in the past year.

And the Growth Hub website has useful resources for exporters, including videos on starting exporting, the financial side of exporting and protecting IP.

For more information click here or call Catherynn Dunstan on 0845 22 600 40 or email her at catherynn@cumbriachamber.co.uk

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce

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