Bibby Financial Services comments on UKEF partnership announcement
Craig Durnell, managing director for export finance, Bibby Financial Services comments on the announcement of the partnership between UK Export Finance (UKEF) and five UK banks to promote UK exports.
“As a business supporting more than 10,000 businesses worldwide and many UK SMEs trading overseas, we welcome any measure that aims to help boost export activity. However, this initiative shows that whilst the message is correct, the approach is blinkered.
“The government should look to work with financiers that understand support is about more than just funding. Understanding the complexities around international commercial terms, freight and logistics, border regulations, legal practices, languages, currency and payment collections are all extremely important.
“Our Global Business Monitor report in 2016 revealed that almost a quarter (24%) of SMEs across the world see currency fluctuation as the key barrier to cross-border trade. Cashflow was cited as the second biggest obstacle, followed by managing overseas customer payments. At BFS we will secure currency rates that will protect SMEs sales margins, and our overseas credit control teams can collect payments in multiple languages.
“Banks are just one route of financing. The government needs to acknowledge this and realise that there are specialist funders available with products and teams dedicated to helping SMEs trade overseas with confidence.”