United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF), an arm of the UK Government that works as an export credit agency, has named Ecobank Nigeria as one of its partnering financial institutions to help deliver £3 billion Direct Lending Facility (DLF) support to UK exporters. Under the DLF, UKEF will provide loans to overseas buyers in order to finance the purchase of goods and services from UK exporters.
Loans are available to cover new international sales by any business exporting from the UK, to any country where UKEF medium term cover is available, and can be made in Sterling, US Dollars, Euro or Japanese Yen.
Some of the other selected 20 financial institutions include Citibank, Bank of China, Barclays Bank Group, Deutsche Bank; JPMorgan Chase Bank Group; The Royal Bank of Scotland Group; and Lloyds Banking Group, among others. Ecobank is the only selected Nigerian financial institution.
According to theChief Executive of UKEF, David Godfrey, “This is a key milestone in the delivery of the £3 billion Direct Lending Facility.
Panel members cover a wide range of overseas markets, with complementary geographical strengths that will make it easier for UK companies to arrange competitive loans throughout a worldwide network,”
explaining that “the reach will increase UKEF’s capacity to lend to overseas buyers of UK products and services. It will also provide a springboard to help us cater for the needs of a broad range of companies, in a variety of sectors, requiring loans of different sizes.”
In a statement, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Jibril Aku, described the appointment as a great feat, stating that it was an eloquent testimony of the bank’s strides in international trade.
“This international recognition is a great feat. It is a great privilege to have been selected alongside other global brands. This will help to enlist more local companies importing British goods,” he said.
On the appointment of 16 British Bankers Association (BBA) members to the 20 strong DLF panel, Executive Director of the BBA, Irene Graham, said: “International trade plays a vital role in supporting our economy and the DLF means that export finance will be cheaper and easier for businesses to access.
The banking industry has worked with UKEF to revise the facility and it’s very pleasing to see the range of BBA members that will partner the department. This is invaluable support for businesses selling overseas.”