LONDON, Jan. 7 -- The British Insurance Brokers' Association issued the following news release:
Insurance brokers have welcomed the news that government department UK Export Finance (UKEF) is increasing the use of its credit insurance products and advice to assist more exporters seeking to maximise opportunities in international trade - particularly to challenging and emerging markets.
At a reception at the Institute of Directors (IOD), to recognise the vital role that insurance brokers play in obtaining credit insurance for UK exporters, Paul Croucher, Head of Trade Finance and Insurance Solutions at UKEF, outlined plans to step up support for businesses seeking to broaden their trade horizons.
UKEF helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-market exporters by sharing financial risks that the private sector is unable to shoulder alone. Since 2011, when a series of new products and services were launched , aimed at the SME market, it has backed almost Pounds1 billion of export contracts to over 65 markets, of which around Pounds150m of export contracts were supported through its Export Insurance Policy.
Paul Croucher said: "We take our responsibilities to the taxpayer very seriously and judge our risks, but we are not risk averse - as reflected in us insuring exports to markets as challenging as Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Greece.
"The Government is looking to us to 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."
Steve Foulsham, of the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) said: "It's very encouraging that UK Export Finance has listened to our industry and made changes to its products and services so that they are more accessible to our members.
"We're on record for supporting the Government's export drive and UKEF is providing the much needed funding support to enable our members to access trade credit for businesses seeking to make exporting inroads in to some of these emerging markets."
Lesley Batchelor, Director General of the Institute of Export (IOE), highlighted the benefits to exporters of UKEF's business support: "Our members tell us that UK Export Finance's products are very useful and reflect the needs of the market. Details of its Trade Finance and Insurance Solutions offering are more readily understood - and resources on their website are a great move forward and will no doubt generate an increased take up."
UKEF's increased support for insurance brokers includes a15 percent brokerage fee, doubling the current 12-strong team of regional Export Finance Advisers (EFAs) along with simplifying paperwork relating to its Export Insurance Policy and streamlining the application process.
Since 2011, UKEF has broadened the trade horizons of over 120 UK-based businesses through guarantees provided to banks for trade finance and directly through the provision of credit insurance. Its regional EFAs have given impartial advice on export finance to a much large number of exporters, and signposting them to banks, credit insurers, brokers, trade support bodies and routes to government support, including UKEF's direct support where appropriate.
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