UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK's export credit agency. It helps UK companies selling abroad by sharing the financial risks of selling overseas, with support such as insurance and credit guarantees for their banks. It can also guarantee loans to overseas buyers of UK exports, or it can lend directly to buyers.
UKEF can support exports of goods, services and intangibles (including intellectual property) to more than 200 countries worldwide. It can support anything from small shipments of cheese to multi-billion pound contracts to build skyscrapers or launch satellites. It never competes with banks or insurance brokers, but steps in where needed, for example, where insurance cover to a particular destination is considered too risky due to political events.
Help is available for firms of all sizes to access the finance and insurance needed to realise their export ambitions where banks and insurers are unable to help. UKEF provides guidance to help companies access finance and to identify, manage and minimise the financial risks of exporting. It facilitates finance and bonds by providing guarantees to banks to reduce the risk of providing working capital loans and contract bonds for their customers selling abroad.
It also protects exporters with insurance against non-payment by overseas buyers and against contract bonds being called unfairly or for political reasons. Finally, it guarantees or provides loans to overseas buyers to finance the purchase of goods or services from UK exporters.