Barclays and Department for International Trade (DIT) announce industry-leading partnership agreement

Barclays has joined forces with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to sign an industry-leading 5-year partnership agreement to broaden, deepen and sharpen efforts to drive increased exports and trade and investment opportunities for UK businesses of all sizes.

This five-year partnership agreement highlights four key priorities and areas of joint working between DIT and Barclays:


  1. Markets: Facilitating trade, export and inward investment opportunities for UK businesses globally, through shared networks and dedicated trade specialists. This includes delivering a bespoke Small Business High Value Exporters Pilot programme focussing on key international markets.
  2. Sectors: Identifying trade and export opportunities for key business sectors through events, webinars, thought leadership and information sharing. Barclays and DIT will bring together all elements of the trade supply chain together regularly in ‘Meet the Experts’ sector focused roundtables across the bank.
  3. UK Export Finance (UKEF): Increasing awareness, understanding and take-up of UK Export Finance (UKEF) to ensure no viable UK export fails for lack of finance. This includes shaping future UKEF products, to allow more clients to access services, in particular reviewing the possibility of the development of a specific UKEF Guarantee product aimed at smaller transactions to encourage small business exports.
  4. Digitisation of Trade: Promoting the UK as a leader in the digitisation of trade to reduce costs and promote greater economic inclusion in global finance. Barclays will work with DIT and the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) in the UK to progress this agenda through the launch of a Trade Digitisation Taskforce. This taskforce will be co-chaired by Barclays Global Head of Trade & Working Capital, James Binns and Chris Southworth, Secretary General, ICC United Kingdom. This taskforce will build on the work of the new Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation.


Barclays partnership agreement with DIT underlines the importance of building strong private and public sector relationships to unlock increased trade, export and investment opportunities post-COVID. From start-ups looking to step on to the exporting ladder, or established corporates looking to expand their global offering, clients from across the bank will be able to capitalise on the benefits of closer working between Barclays and DIT.


James Binns, Global Head of Trade & Working Capital at Barclays, said:

“Helping businesses of all sizes to expand internationally is vital. Fewer than 10% of British companies export overseas but our economic modelling has revealed that global preference for goods ‘Made in Britain’ could be worth an additional £3.5bn per annum to British firms1.

Harnessing this untapped exporting potential is even more important when set against the aftermath of COVID and rising inflationary and cost pressures facing businesses. Policy makers, finance providers and export credit agencies all have a vital role to play in helping to stimulate a thriving, export-led economy, which is why we are pleased to launch this partnership with the Department for International Trade.”


Mike Freer, MP, Minister for Exports said:

“If more businesses export, then the whole economy benefits, which is why this partnership with Barclays is another tool in our arsenal to boost the aspirations and possibilities for small business exporters right across the UK. With market-based solutions that help generate greener trade and get more small firms trading internationally, the potential for businesses to increase their exports is huge.

“As Exports Minister I want to ensure small firms have the support they need to get onto that trading ladder, especially as we race towards our £1 trillion exports target.” 



[1] Barclays Made in Britain report 2021


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Lisa Baker is the Editor of International Business News. As the Owner of Need to See IT Publishing, Lisa is an experienced business and technology journalist and publisher.