British companies backed by £7.4bn of government support to export around the world

  • UKEF provided £7.4bn in financial support for UK exports to 61 countries in 2021-22, with none for fossil fuel projects abroad

  • This supported up to 72,000 UK jobs and added £4.3 billion gross value added to the economy.

  • UKEF launches a new mission statement, putting sustainability at the heart of its agenda, backed by ambitious new emission reduction targets

British businesses were helped to export to 61 countries around the world over the past year with £7.4bn of government support, providing a significant boost to UK jobs and the UK economy.

Funding provided by UK Export Finance (UKEF) in 2021-22 supported 72,000 UK jobs and added £4.3bn gross value to the economy, meaning more money in people’s pockets and security continued employment for British workers.

Of those supported by UKEF, 83 per cent were located outside London and a record 81 per cent were small and medium-sized businesses, according to the organisation’s annual results published today.

The £7.4bn, the highest level in 14 years, brings total support over the past five years to £33.4bn.

It helped businesses recover after the pandemic and now supports exporters facing challenges with global supply chains worsened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

And in its first year without providing any support for fossil fuel projects abroad, UKEF has launched a new mission statement and set ambitious carbon reduction targets to tackle climate change.

The UK is awash with untapped export potential. We’ve opened the door to the world with historic trade deals, and now we’re helping businesses get through it. That’s why our national export credit agency, UK Export Finance, is boosting the ability of businesses to export to the world with unprecedented support year after year.

benefiting small businesses

UKEF has stepped up its support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The number of SMEs benefiting from a UKEF support scheme increased by 25% compared to the previous year, with more than 560 insurance and guarantee schemes issued.

In a new annual record, 81% of businesses directly supported by UKEF with a scheme were SMEs. These milestones were supported by the “game-changing” General Export Facility, a product designed specifically to give exporting SMEs more flexibility in accessing trade finance, unlocking nearly £250m in working capital loans.

An additional £300m was also awarded to 263 UK companies supplying infrastructure projects UKEF has financed around the world, supporting UK exports. These include doors made in Birmingham sold to an airport in Ghana, refrigerators made in Norfolk sold to a hotel in Dubai, and critical medical supplies shipped from South Wales to hospitals in Zambia.

In addition, UKEF provided £27m to support importers who buy from UK SMEs using its Standard Buyer Loan Guarantee Scheme, ensuring that UK businesses receive payment up front, while foreign buyers benefit from more flexible payment terms.

New emissions targets

As the need to tackle climate change becomes ever more urgent, UKEF has launched a new mission statement, putting sustainability at the heart of its purpose.

In its report, UKEF set new targets to reduce absolute emissions (tCO2e) from oil and gas sector exposure by 75% by 2030 and reduce the economic emissions intensity (tCO2e/£AAR) from oil and gas sector exposure. electricity sector by 58% by 2030, as it seeks to operate on a net zero basis by 2050.

In addition to its mission statement, UKEF was also recently recognized as the leading export credit agency for sustainable financing in 2021, based on an independent ranking of ECA-backed deals.

It comes as UKEF maintained considerable levels of financial support in its first year without backing fossil fuel projects abroad – it supported the clean energy, healthcare and critical infrastructure sectors with more than £3.6bn.

Mike Freer, Minister for Exports, added:

It was a crucial and pioneering step for UKEF to end its support for fossil fuel projects more than a year ago. Now, with the new goals and mission statement we are launching today, UKEF is going even further to be a driving force behind the UK’s role in supporting the global energy transition. This can only be possible with the skills and experience of businesses across the UK, and UKEF stands ready to offer its support as they take advantage of these opportunities.

Protecting the UK Taxpayer

As a self-funding department, UKEF takes risks to make exports happen and works within an agreed framework set out by the Treasury to ensure that it makes measured decisions.

Since the start of the pandemic, UKEF has enhanced its suite of products to meet the changing needs of UK businesses and stimulate exports, providing £8.2bn of support through its COVID-19 risk window. since the beginning.

Throughout this time, the department continued to operate efficiently and manage financial risk to protect the interests of UK taxpayers in 2021-22, generating a net profit of £324m for the Treasury.

Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBE, Chairman of the British Association of Exporters, said:

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has provided vital support to exporters during the pandemic and is setting the pace among ECAs in the global transition to sustainable trade. We at BExA look forward to working with UKEF over the next year to continue to refine and develop their products to simplify and speed up export travel for UK SMEs.

This follows an announcement today by the UK government that it is ready to unlock around 100 trade barriers worth over £20bn to help more businesses export.

Key points:

  • UKEF provided £7.4bn in financial support for UK exports to 61 countries in 2021-22.
  • Investment supported up to 72,000 UK jobs and added £4.3bn gross value added to the economy
  • 81% of businesses supported by UKEF directly with a product were small and medium-sized businesses, the highest annual figure on record
  • The General Export Facility (GEF) unlocked nearly £250m of working capital loans, providing £181m of support in total.
  • Under the GEF, 263 UK suppliers received more than £300 million in contracts for the overseas projects UKEF has supported.
  • UKEF provided £27m in support of SMEs through its new Standard Buyer Loan Guarantee Scheme.
  • The COVID-19 Temporary Risk Framework (TCRF) has provided £8.2bn of support to businesses affected by the pandemic since its inception in April 2020.
  • UKEF awarded £3.6 billion to sustainable projects in 2021. It has now provided more than £7 billion to sustainable projects since 2019.

  • In its second Climate Financial Disclosures Task Force report, UKEF committed to reducing absolute emissions (tCO2e) from oil and gas sector exposure by 75% by 2030 and reducing emissions intensity (tCO2e/£AAR) of electricity sector exposure by 75% by 2030. 58% by 2030.
  • UKEF has recovered the cost of every claim made against it on a portfolio basis and has returned more than £2bn to the Treasury since 1991.
  • UKEF generated a net profit of £324 million for the 2021-22 financial year.

About UK Export Financing

UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department that works alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.

Established in 1919, it exists to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of private market finance. Provides financing and insurance to help exporters obtain, fulfill and receive payment for export contracts.

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