By Claire West

ECGD, the UK’s export credit agency, has published its Annual Review and Resource Accounts 2009-10, showing it provided £2.21 billion of support to UK exporters and UK investors undertaking business overseas.

The report showed ECGD issued 198 guarantees and insurance policies to support British companies competing in overseas markets, compared to 136 in the previous financial year.

ECGD’s support for Airbus remained a significant part of the Department’s business. In 2009-10, ECGD supported the sale of 166 Airbus aircraft, an increase of 87 per cent on 2008-09.

In 2009, in response to the economic downturn, ECGD launched the Letter of Credit Guarantee Scheme to add to UK banks’ capacity to guarantee letters of credit for British exporters. The scheme now covers almost 300 banks in 36 export markets, and six UK-based banks are participating.

ECGD earned £57.6 million of premium, compared to £38.5 million in the previous financial year.

ECGD Chief Executive Patrick Crawford said:

"This has been a very busy year for ECGD, which has seen a doubling in inquiries and a big rise in its support for exporters. The last time ECGD supported this level of business was in 2003. Since then we have reduced our headcount by around a third and we will continue to scrutinise our costs as part of our mission to support British exporters."