UKEF is ‘exagerating’ the number of businesses helped

(The Times, London, 20 September 2021) The UK's UKEF has been accused of exaggerating how many businesses it has supported, of undermining the national drive towards net-zero carbon emissions and of doing too little to help smaller exporters. MPs on the Commons’ international trade committee said that UK Export Finance had directly helped far fewer companies than its “headline figure of 549 businesses supported” in the 2020-21 financial year, with only 167 directly applying for finance and insurance. Global Trade Review also notes that the government inquiry into the work of UKEF has raised concerns over the agency’s concentration of support in certain sectors, ambiguous figures in its annual accounts, and potential exposure to environmental and human rights issues.