Image: Tristan Taussac/Flickr Image: Tristan Taussac/Flickr

The UK government has signed an export finance deal with the big banks for the funding of exports.

Over the last five years, up to £500 million has been provided as finance for small businesses via the UK Export Finance Scheme, but this new deal is of a much bigger scale.

Ben Baruch, head of SME policy at ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) said: "This is a welcome initiative which will help to grow UK SMEs, improve national productivity and more fully utilise the capacities of UK Export Finance.

"I hope to see the Government encouraging uptake of this initiative across the UK – rather than just London and the Southeast – and across SMEs of all sizes and sectors. This is an important building block towards achieving the aims of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

"According to recent figures from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), only one in five of their members currently export and there is certainly a perception among UK SMEs that accessing finance and expanding overseas is just too difficult.

"While this initiative will improve access to finance for many businesses looking to export, we need to continue to engage and support SMEs across the country, in order to tackle any perceived barriers or obstacles towards beginning their export journey."