Transforming access to international markets to help Britain prosper globally


Article from an occasional series of topical thought pieces sent by Head of Global Corporates Clare Francis to Lloyds Bank Business Leaders community.

About the author

Clare Francis

Managing Director and Head of Global Corporates, Lloyds Bank

The UK has always been a global trading nation, exports have always been critical to the UK’s growth and prosperity and British businesses of all sizes have always played an important role in global trade and the global supply chain. Now, more than ever, international trade and investment is front of mind.

Post Referendum, the creation of the new Department for International Trade underlines the clear message that Britain remains open for trade as a business-friendly, innovative and fundamentally strong global economy.

As you may have read in the media, Lloyds Bank was one of five UK banks that ten days ago signed a memorandum of understanding to work with the Department for International Trade to boost exports by transforming the way businesses access international markets. The plan is to make it easier for UK companies to export by linking them and international buyers through a digital Directory of Exporters. This will be launched in November, as part of wider government plans for a digital platform to stimulate UK exports and investment into the UK. Potential customers and buyers from global markets will be able to search for and locate companies across the UK that are ready to supply the products, services and skills they need. The memorandum of understanding also includes measures to help the UK track progress in exports in the same way as we currently track our international trade activity as part of our Helping Britain Prosper Plan.

In the months ahead we will be working with the UK government and our UK banking peers to assist our clients to join the Directory of Exporters and take up this opportunity for promotion in lucrative global markets. How our bigger British companies can use this platform to help their own supply chains flourish is something we are being thoughtful about.

Of course Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has a record of collaboration in this area. This started with the partnership memorandum between Lloyds Bank and UKTI signed in early 2015 as well as UKTI participation in the delivery of the Lloyds Bank Business Leaders Summit in February 2015. In our partnership memorandum, we linked the commitments in Lloyds Bank’s Helping Britain Prosper Plan with UKTI’s specific targets for increasing the value of UK exports by 2020. This Spring we committed to support 5000 first time exporters during 2016 and a total of 25,000 by 2020 as part of the government’s ambition to support 100,000 new exporters by 2020.

In supporting the UK’s drive for exports and attractiveness to foreign investors, Lloyds Banking Group has also committed to provide financial backing, by the end of 2017, to infrastructure initiatives that have a total project value of £30 billion.

Lloyds Bank is the UK’s largest domestic bank and we take seriously our responsibilities to Help Britain Prosper in the global economy. We recognise that the role of banks is to support clients by serving the real economy. As part of this, I look forward to updating you with further details as the Directory of Exporters and the digital platform develop over the coming months.

Click here to learn more about how Lloyds Bank can help you to seize the benefits of international markets.

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