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The UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), has joined 5 of the biggest high street banks to speed up the delivery of financial support to small business exporters.

SMEs with aspirations of selling goods abroad are able to access export-related trade finance, such as working capital loans and bonds required by overseas buyers.

The partnership will enable businesses in manufacturers’ and service providers’ supply chains to access trade funding with government support.

The model will roll out to 5 banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS/NatWest and Santander – through a secured digital platform designed to make response times quicker and more efficient.

Liam Fox, international trade secretary, said:

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

Jeff Longhurst, head of commercial at UK Finance, added:

“The industry is committed to making it easier for UK exporters to access finance and UK Finance has worked closely with lenders and UKEF to make this process simpler. 

“With nearly 70% of international SMEs planning to grow in the next 12 months, today’s announcement is a boost for both SMEs and the wider economy, helping support businesses across the country.”

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