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Unlocking Global Opportunities with UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Export Development Guarantees

In today's interconnected global economy, businesses often seek to expand their reach beyond domestic borders. However, international expansion can be a complex endeavor with financial and strategic challenges. This is where export credit agencies (ECAs) like UK Export Finance (UKEF) play a pivotal role. In this article, we will explore UKEF, its functions, and how it supports British businesses, with a specific focus on Export Development Guarantees (EDGs).

UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Its Role as an ECA

UKEF is the United Kingdom's official export credit agency. Established to support and promote British exports, UKEF plays a significant role in facilitating international trade. As an ECA, its primary mission is to provide financial support and insurance solutions to British businesses, helping them to overcome the challenges of exporting to markets worldwide.

UKEF offers a range of financial products and services, including insurance, guarantees, and direct lending, to help businesses mitigate risks and unlock new opportunities in international markets. These services can be crucial for businesses looking to secure overseas contracts and grow their global presence.

Export Development Guarantees (EDGs) - Unveiling the Benefits

One of the key offerings from UKEF is Export Development Guarantees (EDGs). An EDG is a financial instrument that provides a guarantee to banks, making it easier for them to lend to British businesses engaged in exporting. Here are the key aspects of EDGs and the benefits they offer:

1. Eligibility Criteria:

To avail of an EDG, a business must meet certain criteria set by UKEF. These criteria include being a UK-registered business or an overseas subsidiary of a UK company, and the business should be exporting or be in a position to start exporting shortly.

2. Support for Export Contracts:

EDGs are specifically designed to support businesses that have secured or are in the process of securing export contracts. They can cover a wide range of transactions, including the sale of goods, services, and intellectual property to overseas buyers.

3. Enhanced Access to Finance:

EDGs effectively enhance a business's access to finance. Banks may be more willing to provide loans or credit facilities to exporters backed by EDGs because the risk is reduced. In the event of default by the business on the bank’s loan, UKEF will compensate the bank for up to 80% of the bank’s bad debt. This can be especially beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may face financing challenges when entering foreign markets.

4. Lower Cost of Capital:

As up to 80% of the bank’s loan is guaranteed by UKEF, the bank’s credit exposure to the debtor is lower than if the EDG was not in place. Consequently, the bank’s return requirements are lower across the entire loan, meaning they can offer lower credit spreads than a vanilla loan which did not benefit from an EDG.

5. Risk Mitigation:

By utilizing an EDG, businesses can mitigate various risks associated with international trade. This includes political, economic, and commercial risks, providing a safety net for businesses should unforeseen events impact their export contracts.

6. Competitive Advantage:

Having an EDG in place can give businesses a competitive edge in international markets. It instils confidence in overseas buyers and may make a business more attractive as a trading partner, ultimately leading to increased business opportunities.

7. Support for Diverse Sectors:

EDGs are not limited to specific industries or sectors. UKEF caters to a wide range of businesses, including those involved in manufacturing, services, technology, and more.


In today's globalized marketplace, expanding your business beyond national borders can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor. UK Export Finance (UKEF) and its Export Development Guarantees (EDGs) serve as valuable tools for British businesses seeking to explore new horizons. By providing financial support, risk mitigation, and enhanced access to finance, UKEF empowers UK exporters to compete in the international arena and seize new opportunities.

Businesses considering overseas expansion should explore the comprehensive support offered by UKEF, including the benefits of EDGs, to make their international endeavors more feasible and prosperous. With UKEF's assistance, British companies can confidently embark on their global journeys and contribute to the nation's economic growth through increased international trade.


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About the author

Sabbir Rahman is Managing Director of Langdon Capital. He has held prior roles with Morgan Stanley, Lazard and Barclays Investment Bank. He has executed over £60 billion in notional value of transactions across financing, M&A and derivatives with global corporates, private equity funds and financial sponsor groups.

About Langdon Capital

With a network of 700+ alternative investors, Langdon Capital raises debt and equity capital between £1m and £25m for high-growth and innovative scale-ups with >£1m annual revenue and >30% annual revenue growth in technology enabled and clean-tech sectors at Series A or beyond to help fulfil growth ambitions and paths to profitability.

This is not financial advice or any offer, invitation or inducement to sell or provide financial products or services or to engage in any form of investment activity.

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