The Institute of Export (IOE) further strengthened its links with UK Export Finance (UKEF) when Director General Lesley Batchelor spoke at a reception to recognise the role insurance brokers play in obtaining credit insurance for UK exporters.
Speaking at the evening event at the Institute of Directors, Lesley highlighted the benefits to companies, particularly small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), of UKEF’s raft of products and services that help to shoulder some of the financial risks of exporting – including to challenging markets.
The IOE’s Director General said: “UKEF has been on a long journey in very short time and it has had to manage a very critical audience. Through strong strategy and a lot of very determined work that is really starting to pay off, it is beginning to achieve recognition in a broader market.
“Our members tell us that UK Export Finance products are very useful and reflect the needs of the market. As details are more readily understood – and resources on the website and on video are a great move forward – there will be an increased take up.”
Since 2011, UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency, has broadened the trade horizons of over 120 UK-based businesses. Backing almost £1billion of export contracts to over 65 markets and with a pipeline of a further 300 transactions.
Paul Croucher, Head of Trade Finance and Insurance Solutions at UK Export Finance, outlined the export credit agency’s plans to intensify its support for businesses. He said: “We have insured exports to markets as challenging as Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Greece. We are responsible to the taxpayer and judge our risks, but we are not risk averse. In doing so we have supported around £150m of contracts under our Export Policy Insurance.
“The Government is looking to us to ensure we play a greater role in the export-led recovery. The challenge is to make sure that we maximise our potential in complementing – not competing with – the private sector.”
Lesley Batchelor praised the increased collaboration between the IOE and UK Export Finance, which includes members of the UKEF team currently undertaking the Institute’s international trade qualifications.
“The Institute is very proud to work with UK Export Finance in training and providing context for the Export Finance Advisers in the regions,” said Lesley. “This level of commitment is a great way of demonstrating an undertaking to build quality and to truly understand the issues businesses face on a day to say basis.”