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Export Credits Guarantee Dept. Extends Fixed Rate Export Finance

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Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) today announced that it will be extending its Fixed Rate Export Finance (FREF) scheme to 31 March 2011.

ECGD is the UK's export credit agency and works with exporters, project sponsors, banks and buyers to help UK exporters trade with confidence, by providing insurance against non-payment risks and guarantees for bank loans to buyers of UK goods.  It also provides insurance against political risks to UK investors in overseas markets.

ECGD's FREF scheme enables UK exporters to offer medium and long-term finance to their overseas buyers at fixed rates of interest.  The interest rates applicable to the FREF scheme are subject to international arrangements, established through the OECD, and are adopted by all major export credit agencies.

The scheme has already been extended once, from 31 December 2008 to 31 December 2009, and Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business, Mervyn Davies said this additional extension showed the Government continued to listen to the needs of business.

Mr. Davies said:

"In the present difficult climate for exporters, ECGD wants to continue providing British exporters with the real help they need.  For those companies that use FREF, this extension should be welcome."

During 2010, ECGD will discuss with banks and exporters how to take forward the decisions set out in the interim response to ECGD's 2008 consultation on the future of FREF.

Access to the FREF scheme is subject to its existing budget, of which £4 million currently remains available for new business.

For more details contact Steve Roberts-Mee on 020 7512 7319 or 07990 887852.

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