UK Export Finance named world's 'best export credit agency' for sustainable finance

Thu 9 Jun 2022
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Green Growth Pound Signs

The government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), has been named the world’s best for sustainable finance.

The agency provided support for sustainable projects worth £3.6bn in 2021, significantly eclipsing the £2.4bn that it provided in 2020.

Its position at the top of a global league table for green finance was confirmed at the TXF Global Export Finance Conference in Lisbon on Tuesday.

Award winning

UKEF also collected three industry accolades for specific transactions it has supported in the last year.

It won:

  • Renewables Export Finance Deal of the Year for a £210m pledge to support the construction of a major offshore wind facility in Taiwan
  • Healthcare Export Finance Deal of the Year for £130m provided for six new hospitals in Côte D’Ivoire
  • Rail Transport Export Finance Deal of the Year for a £1.1bn package of support for the construction of a 503km high-speed electric railway from Ankara to Izmir

Sustainable trade and green jobs

UKEF’s successes follow a speech from international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan that reiterated the government’s commitment to green trade.

“The financial case for green trade is very clear,” she said. “The global market for low-carbon exports is growing rapidly. By 2030, it’s projected to be worth almost £2 trillion. This translates into some exciting opportunities for us.”

She added: “Our work is focused around four key principles: Building our green industrial base; boosting green exports; liberalising green trade; and having greater alignment of our trade and environmental policies.”

UKEF criticism

UKEF has previously received criticism for providing aid to only a select few companies.

Last autumn, Global Trade Review reported the government’s own inquiry into aid provided by the agency, which revealed that nearly 90% of the £12.3bn of support it committed in 2020/21 went to just nine companies.

In terms of geographical spread, 92% of UKEF’s support in 2020/21 went to just 10 countries, with Qatar, Egypt and Mozambique together receiving nearly two-thirds of the total.


Last year, it was revealed that UKEF would be getting a 20% increase to its budget to improve its support for UK exporters.

It came as the export credit agency published figures showing it had provided support to 549 UK businesses, supporting up to 107,000 UK jobs.

‘Leading the world’

Commenting on the latest investment figures, UKEF CEO Louis Taylor said: “2021 was the year where UKEF led the world of export finance into a more sustainable future.”

He added: “We will continue to use the power of our finance to make the world a better, more prosperous and sustainable place.”

More to be done

In an interview with Nigel Farage on GB News, IOE&IT director general Marco Forgione said the UK was making progress on its green trade initiatives but that more needed to be done.

“Huge strides are being made, but we are not there yet,” he said.