Small Businesses: Exports

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 4th December 2015.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps the Government is taking to increase the access to finance of small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to export.

Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has established a cadre of Export Finance Advisors based around the UK so exporters can access advice locally where they are seeking finance for export transactions which they are unable to obtain from the private market.

UKEF offers products to assist SME exporters in such circumstances where the risks are acceptable, including an Export Working Capital Scheme. It is looking to enhance its products using new Statutory powers that came into force earlier in 2015. It is also planning to improve accessibility to those products delivered through banks and simplify documentation, including application forms and associated processes, where appropriate, by digital means, that should help speed-up decision-taking and response times.

The Government is currently consulting on simplifying the anti-bribery Declarations and Undertakings exporters are required to provide UKEF. UKEF liaises with the British Business Bank to ensure each other’s products are complementary and fill gaps in the provisions of support where this is unavailable from the private market.

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