Overseas firms looking to set up shop and export from the UK will now be eligible to take out government-backed loans potentially worth billions of pounds, after an expansion of a post-Brexit lending programme.
International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the new policy, done through the UK government’s credit agency UK Export Finance, will help British green technology sectors grow.
It comes as the government today renewed its target to increase UK annual exports to £1 trillion by 2030, after British-based firms sent £689bn of goods and services overseas in 2019.
The government’s Export Development Guarantee (EDG) scheme currently sees the government underwrite loans, up to 80 per cent, to British exporters.
Around £10bn of loans have been issued through the scheme since it was launched in 2019, with applications of £25m or more considered.
British Airways and Rolls Royce have borrowed £3bn each through the EDG programme.
The government today announced the programme would be expanded to include businesses that don’t currently export, but have “huge export potential … including businesses that are not yet based in the UK”.
UK Export Finance said this could “encourage companies operating in sectors in which the UK doesn’t have a strong presence, such as the production of electric vehicle batteries, to come to this country”.
The government also announced that challenger banks will be able to lend through the EDG programme as a part of the expansion.
“Our improved terms for clean growth exporters will help them seize new export opportunities and invest to grow their international business – spurring on the development of the British supply chain in high growth sectors too,” Trevelyan said.
“With these changes, UKEF has the tools to help us deliver a greener future and a trade-led recovery.”
Marcus Dolman and Geoffrey De Mowbray, co-chairmen of the British Exporters Association said: “The increased UKEF support is welcomed and aligned with accelerating the UKs significant opportunities to advance UK exports and to drive clean and sustainable growth.
“The addition of challenger banks and alternative lenders is key to enabling SMEs access to UKEF’s products – all valuable additions for UK exporters.”